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Can You Be Compensated for PTSD from Your Car Accident?

Posted on in Personal Injury

California accident lawyer, California injury lawyerThe term post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has become common in everyday speech as an informal or colloquial way to describe a mental harm. Often, it is used in such a way to describe a harm that does not rise to the level of a clinical condition.

Because of this, some people are under the impression that PTSD is a frivolous claim or one that California law does not recognize as an injury. PTSD, which commonly comes up in car accidents, is, in fact, a serious condition. If you sustained a diagnosable form of PTSD in a car crash that was not your fault, you may be entitled to monetary compensation.

What Is PTSD?

According to the Mayo Clinic, PTSD is a mental health condition caused by experiencing a horrific event. Symptoms of PTSD include:

  • Flashbacks;
  • Nightmares;
  • Crippling anxiety; and
  • Racing or out-of-control thoughts about the event.

Typically, when these symptoms remain for months or years and when these symptoms interfere with your ability to function in daily life, you will be diagnosed with PTSD. Over time, many people suffering from PTSD find that specialized treatment can help with these symptoms and help in readjusting to daily life.

In the context of car accidents, many PTSD victims report:

  • Reluctance or refusal to drive;
  • Avoiding thoughts about the accident;
  • Detached emotional responsiveness;
  • Disturbing dreams reliving the accident; and
  • Heightened irritability or inability to sleep.

PTSD Is a Valid Injury under California Law

When these symptoms exist, California courts will compensate accident victims. However, there are certain steps that must be taken in order to adequately get you the compensation you deserve.

Typically, a jury or judge will not just accept a victim’s assertions that he or she has the type of mental disturbance that rises to the level of PTSD. A medical expert who has examined the victim will almost always be needed to prove the veracity of your injuries. The opposing party may also have an expert to refute this testimony.

You must also prove that your PTSD affected your life in a real way. It is not enough to simply state the diagnosis.

Contact a San Jose, CA Car Crash Injury Attorney

If you believe that a car accident left you with PTSD, you should consult with an attorney. PTSD claims must be handled in a specific way or they will be quickly dismissed by a court. Contact the accomplished San Jose car accident lawyers at the Jachimowicz Law Group by calling 408-246-5500 to set up your first meeting today.

 

Source:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/post-traumatic-stress-disorder/home/ovc-20308548

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2396820/

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