Compensation for PTSD Following an Accident

January 08, 2021

By Keffer Hirschauer LLP

Compensation for PTSD Following an Accident

As seasoned Indianapolis personal injury lawyers, we are accustomed to helping accident victims with their physical injuries. For example, we can fight for compensation to cover the cost of surgery and rehabilitation, along with replacing any wages lost as you recover at home or in the hospital.

But some accidents are so traumatic that a person can suffer serious psychological distress, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Although PTSD is often associated with war and natural disasters, a surprisingly-high number of people can suffer it following a car crash or dog bite attack. Please contact our firm to learn more about whether you qualify for compensation.

What is PTSD?

According to the Mayo Clinic, PTSD is a mental condition triggered by a traumatic event. The most common symptoms include:

  • Flashbacks to the event
  • Nightmares
  • Intrusive thoughts about the traumatic event
  • Anxiety
  • Avoidance behaviors

Many people experience these symptoms following a disturbing event, like a car accident. However, they slowly get better as the person begins to cope and integrate the traumatic event into their memories.

When a victim suffers from PTSD, however, they can experience symptoms for months and years. The symptoms also begin to interfere with daily life. Avoidance behaviors can become particularly problematic. For example, a person might avoid getting into a car following a wreck or develop a fear of all dogs after being bitten.

How Common is PTSD Following an Accident?

Very common. The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that about 39% of people who survive a car accident suffer from symptoms of PTSD. The most likely predictor was a belief that the motorist’s life was in danger during the crash. Those who survive a violent dog attack are also at risk of experiencing PTSD.

Even if you do not receive a clinical diagnosis for this disorder, you still might be suffering from severe emotional distress, such as depression. All forms of emotional distress are serious and should be talked about with your attorney.

What Compensation Can You Receive for PTSD?

Our clients are eligible to receive compensation for a variety of losses, including:

  • The cost of treatment. You might undergo therapy or take prescription drugs to manage your PTSD. This costs money. You can also receive compensation to cover the cost of treating any physical injuries.
  • Lost income, if your PTSD prevents you from working. Nobody should lose out on income when someone else is to blame for the accident that injured them.
  • Emotional distress. Our personal injury clients are also eligible for money to try and make up for the distress itself. This is different than compensating for the cost of treating PTSD. A jury will use its experience to estimate how much money can “make up” for severe emotional distress following an accident.

Every case is different, and we cannot say ahead of time how much compensation you might qualify for. However, an attorney can review your case to see how much you might receive.

Contact Keffer Hirschauer LLP Today

Our lawyers have helped countless clients through this difficult time, and we offer a free consultation where you can learn more.