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Can Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Occur After a Serious Car Crash?

On Behalf of | Mar 13, 2019 | Auto Accidents, Personal Injury |

Compensation for psychological harm is not only possible, it might even exceed the amount of your medical bills

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD, is a disorder that typically arises after witnessing a life-threatening event, including a serious automobile accident could certainly trigger PTSD. At Lomurro Law, our New Jersey accident attorneys work hard to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries. You may not be sure whether or not you have developed PTSD. Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Flashbacks of the accident, in your memory or in your dreams. The experience may be so vivid that you feel like you are reliving it again and again.
  • Avoidance of situations that remind you of the accident. You might experience anxiety every time you sit in a car, for example.
  • Negative feelings and beliefs. You may begin to experience everyday living as a dangerous activity, like walking through a minefield.
  • Feeling “wired” or jittery. You may have trouble concentrating or sleeping, and you may startle easily or develop a short temper.

Types of PTSD compensation available under New Jersey law

Personal injury damages are designed to compensate you for all your accident-related losses, not only PTSD. In fact, you must suffer some sort of tangible physical injury to receive compensation for emotional distress. Following are three of the main components of a personal injury claim that might include compensation for PTSD:

  • Medical bills – Compensation for direct medical treatment of your PTSD, such as talk therapy and prescription drugs (economic damages)
  • Lost earnings – Compensation for missed work time arising from PTSD (economic damages)
  • Pain and suffering – Direct compensation for the trauma you experienced, including physical and psychological pain (non-economic damages)

Calculating the value of the pain and suffering component of your damages

Your pain and suffering does not have to rise to the level of PTSD to justify awarding pain and suffering damages. Consequently, a formal diagnosis of PTSD can only strengthen your claim and enhance its value. Pain and suffering damages commonly amount to anywhere from 50 percent to 500 percent of the total amount of compensation for your medical bills.

A New Jersey court will take the following factors into account when assessing the value of your pain and suffering claim:

  • The impact of the injury on your daily routine
  • How the injury affects your relationships, both at home and at work
  • How the injury affects your sleeping patterns
  • The likely duration of your suffering

Even if you are attempting to resolve your claim through an out-of-court settlement, it matters what a court would do with your claim — after all, a courtroom is exactly where you will be going if the defendant refuses to settle with you. As it is said, “All bargaining takes place in the shadow of the law.”

If you have been injured in a serious automobile accident in New Jersey, talk to the legal professionals at Lomurro Law

A serious automobile accident is going to shake you up, no question about it. Regardless of whether or not your psychological trauma rises to the level of PTSD, you may be entitled to compensation — and you are likely to face resistance from the opposing party every step of the way. At Lomurro Law, we know how to calculate the true value of your claim, and we fight back on your behalf so you can concentrate fully on recovering your health. Contact us immediately at 732-482-9285 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free initial consultation with us. Our offices are located in Freehold and East Brunswick, but if you prefer, we can meet at your home or in the hospital.