Yes, you can develop PTSD after a motorcycle accident. For example, one 2009 study found that 27.5 percent of people suffered PTSD following a severe vehicular crash. So if you are experiencing this troubling condition, you are far from alone.
The compassionate motorcycle accident attorneys at Judd Shaw Injury Law understand the full scope of the suffering motorcycle accident victims go through. We are eager to hear your story, and if we take on your case, our lawyers will fight aggressively to try to secure the settlement you require.
Don’t delay in seeking justice. Call us 24/7 at 1-866-909-6894 or complete our contact form for a free case evaluation with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney.
Our understanding of PTSD first started in the military. Many war veterans exhibited symptoms after the trauma they experienced on the battlefield. However, we now understand that anyone who has suffered or witnessed a traumatic event can develop PTSD.
For example, motorcycle accidents can be terrifying, as you do not have the protection you have in a closed vehicle. In addition, if the rider or your passenger passed away in the accident, the trauma can be even more acute.
Each person’s experience of PTSD is unique. While there are several identified PTSD symptoms, not everyone develops all of them. The 2009 study examining PTSD after severe vehicular crashes cited earlier noted that certain characteristics may increase your chances of developing PTSD.
The following might increase your risk of developing PTSD:
- Female gender
- Prior violent injury
- Death of another occupant
- History of depression
The National Institute of Mental Health notes that most people develop PTSD symptoms within 3 months. However, while some people develop PTSD symptoms immediately after a traumatic event, the symptoms can start weeks, months, or even years later for others. To receive a diagnosis of PTSD, the symptoms must last for more than 1 month and be severe enough to disrupt your everyday life.
Symptoms of PTSD
The symptoms of PTSD are broken down into four categories:
- Re-experiencing symptoms
- Avoidance symptoms
- Arousal and reactivity symptoms
- Cognition and mood symptoms
To receive a diagnosis of PTSD, a person must experience a prescribed number of symptoms from each category.
1. Re-experiencing symptoms
This can include flashbacks – mentally reliving the event, sometimes accompanied by sweating or a pounding heart. Some people also have upsetting thoughts, recurring memories, bad dreams, or physical signs of stress. To get a diagnosis of PTSD, a person must experience at least one of these symptoms.
2. Avoidance symptoms
Sufferers may avoid situations, places, thoughts, or objects that trigger memories of the traumatic event. This may cause them to change their daily routines. For example, you may avoid riding or being a passenger on a motorcycle or even being around them after a motorcycle accident. A PTSD diagnosis requires a minimum of 1 avoidance symptom.
3. Arousal and reactivity symptoms
People suffering from PTSD may feel on edge much of the time. This can affect their sleep, cause them to react angrily to situations, and even engage in risky behavior. To be diagnosed with PTSD, a person must exhibit 2 or more of these symptoms.
4. Cognition and mood symptoms
A person with PTSD may experience a range of troubling thoughts and emotions. This could include:
- Negative thinking about oneself and others
- Persistent negative emotions
- Loss of interest in activities enjoyed before
- Struggling to experience positive emotions
These symptoms can cause a person to feel isolated from family and friends. A minimum of 2 of these symptoms are needed for a PTSD diagnosis.
PTSD and other mental health conditions
Other mental health conditions often accompany PTSD. This can include depression, anxiety disorders, and substance use problems. The good news is that there are effective treatments available that may be able to reduce or even eliminate the symptoms of PTSD.
The Importance of Seeking Medical Help
If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident and have started to experience any of the symptoms listed here, talk to a doctor as soon as possible. Firstly, a doctor can refer you to a specialist who can diagnose your condition and get the treatment you need. A mental health professional can create a personalized treatment plan that may include medication and psychotherapy.
Secondly, working with a mental health professional can help you if you choose to pursue a lawsuit after a motorcycle accident. The sooner you seek medical assistance, the easier it may be to show that your PTSD was caused by your motorcycle accident. If you hire a motorcycle accident attorney, he or she can use your medical record and other evidence to build a strong case on your behalf.
Seeking Damages for PTSD After a Motorcycle Accident
The psychological injuries inflicted during a motorcycle accident can be just as real and painful as the physical ones. To pursue damages for PTSD after a motorcycle accident, your lawyer must prove the following:
- Duty of care: The negligent party had a duty of care toward you
- Breach: Due to negligence or recklessness, the at-fault party breached their duty of care
- Cause: These actions or inactions were the cause of your PTSD
- Compensation: Your PTSD has caused you losses for which you can be compensated
During your case evaluation, a motorcycle accident attorney will listen carefully to your story and ask pertinent questions. He or she will also examine any evidence that you bring. If the attorney feels your case has a strong chance of success, he or she may agree to take it on.
Economic damages for PTSD
When you embark on a course of treatment for PTSD, your medical bills can soon start to mount up. For example, you may have to pay copays, medication expenses, and therapy bills. If another person’s negligence caused your accident, you have a right to claim compensation to cover these expenses.
Unfortunately, severe PTSD can also affect your ability to work. If this is true in your case, you may be able to claim damages for lost earnings or business opportunities.
Non-economic damages for PTSD
If your motorcycle accident has caused severe injuries, you may be able to claim non-economic damages for pain and suffering. In addition, if your PTSD is severe, the psychological distress you have endured may also qualify you to receive these damages.
However, every case is unique. To find out what damages may apply in your situation, talk to an experienced motorcycle accident attorney who has handled these types of cases before.
Our Compassionate Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Are Here to Help
We understand that a motorcycle accident can leave you battered and bruised – both physically and psychologically. The thought of fighting with insurance companies at such a time is naturally overwhelming. That is why the best course is to entrust your case to the caring yet tenacious motorcycle accident lawyers at Judd Shaw Injury Law.
We follow the “Judd Shaw Way” – a set of 4 core values based on respect, hard work, and exceeding every client’s expectations. From our first conversation onward, we want you to know you can trust us to fight for your rights and provide you with an outstanding experience along the way.
Get the process started by talking to one of our motorcycle accident attorneys today. Call us any time of the day or night at 1-866-909-6894 or reach out via our website. The first consultation is completely free and you won’t pay a cent until we win your case.