The crash happened on election day. Our client had just picked up his 6-year-old daughter from school and was on his way to vote. He wanted his daughter to participate in this important civic duty.
A tractor trailer ran a red light and t-boned our client on the driver’s side. The force of the impact crushed the driver’s side door and trapped our client inside his car. Thankfully his daughter was not hurt, but our client’s arm was lacerated.
The fire department had to cut our client out of his car with the jaws-of-life. Because of the severity of the crash and the injuries to his arm, the first responders air lifted our client to the hospital. Our client was forced to leave his daughter at the scene in the care of strangers.
Our client’s body healed, but the trauma left deep psychological wounds. The doctors concluded that our client was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. The National Center for PTSD reports that approximately 9% of automobile collision survivors develop PTSD. Motor vehicle collisions are the single leading cause of PTSD in the general population.
Symptoms of PTSD after a crash can linger for months or even years. The effects of PTSD can also cause chronic physical pain in crash victims. It is important that survivors of a serious motor vehicle collision are aware of the symptoms of PTSD, which include:
- reliving the crash through nightmares or flashbacks
- avoiding situations that trigger memories of the collision, such as changing a driving route to avoid the scene of the crash
- feelings of jitteriness or hyper-alertness
PTSD can be treated with cognitive-behavioral therapy, which helps survivors come to terms with the traumatic experience and teach techniques to manage their symptoms. The treatment records are also powerful evidence to convince skeptical insurance companies that a crash victim’s psychological injuries are real and serious. In our client’s case, the fact that he sought treatment for his PTSD was crucial in making the defense pay full compensation for his non-visible injuries.