After experiencing trauma, people may develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD involves intense psychological and emotional distress, physical pain, depression, and anxiety. And after a motorcycle accident, PTSD can be a very real and serious issue.
Who Gets PTSD After A Motorcycle Wreck?
About 25% of people or more involved in motorcycle accidents develop PTSD. No one is immune. You can develop the condition regardless of your age, education, or marital status. PTSD can occur after both severe or minor injuries, and it can also occur in cases where someone died as well as in accidents where everyone survived.
Your risk of PTSD increases in the following situations:
- You had a violent injury in the past
- You feel some guilt regarding the accident
- A person died in the crash
- You are female
- You have a history of depression
Even if you weren’t directly involved in the motorcycle accident, you may develop PTSD if you were:
- A passenger on the motorcycle that crashed, even if you had no physical injuries
- The occupant of a vehicle involved in the wreck
- A witness to the accident
- A person who saw severely or fatally injured people
- A bystander who gave assistance to people hurt or killed
- A loved one dealing with the aftermath of a family member’s motorcycle crash
How PTSD Affects Your Life
The American Psychiatric Association states that the disturbing feelings and thoughts associated with PTSD can linger for a long time, potentially for the rest of your life. This can contribute to the possibility of depression, job loss, divorce, substance abuse, and a whole host of other mental health challenges.
After an accident, the PTSD symptoms that survivors are most likely to experience include the following:
- Loss of self-esteem
- A feeling of numbness
- Avoidance of places, people, and/or situations that remind you of the accident
- Panic attacks
- Anxiety over and fear of riding a motorcycle
- Questioning your ability to make effective decisions
Occasionally, you may have several PTSD symptoms after an accident, but your symptoms may not be severe enough to get a PTSD diagnosis. In these cases, you may still benefit from psychological treatment or medical help. If you have been in an accident, you should visit with a mental health professional to determine if you might have PTSD or even just a few symptoms.
PTSD Can Affect Your Legal Settlement
Medical experts agree that PTSD is a real issue that can completely change a person’s life, and not for the better. PTSD damages can be a mix of economic and non-economic losses. Economic damages can include the cost of PTSD treatment, lost wages, and a drop in earning potential. Non-economic damages may include mental anguish and emotional distress. In fact, if PTSD prevents you from riding a motorcycle again, you may even be able to collect damages for your loss of enjoyment of life.
Linking PTSD to Your Accident Can Be Difficult
Usually, the symptoms of PTSD become evident within three to six months after the accident. But in some cases, PTSD symptoms can take longer to develop, and that can make it hard to prove that the PTSD was linked to the accident. However, a motorcycle accident attorney can work with your treatment team, and together, they can find the most effective records and expert testimony to establish your case.
A motorcycle accident attorney can also help to assess the value of your injury based on direct economic costs as well as indirect costs. If you believe that you may be suffering from PTSD due to a motorcycle accident, we can help. To learn more, contact us for a free case evaluation. At Mazow | McCullough, PC, we have helped many motorcycle accident victims get the justice they deserve, and we can help you too.