When it comes to car accidents, physical injuries are often the first thing that comes to mind. However, these events can also leave lasting emotional and mental damage ranging from mild emotional distress all the way to diagnosable Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
In fact, the American Psychological Association states that car accidents are the leading cause of PTSD for non-military Americans. Emotional and mental damage are equally as debilitating as the physical injuries one suffers in accident but can be more difficult to diagnose. Here’s how to prove you have PTSD after your car accident claim.
You’ll need your primary care physician to help you diagnose this condition before you can prove it to your insurance company or in court. However, it’s up to you to watch out for the signs and symptoms. Knowing the red flags of PTSD is the first step in getting help. They are:
· Anxiety over being inside a vehicle
· Nightmares about getting into accidents
· Recurring flashbacks about the accident
· Sudden irritability
· High blood pressure
· Fatigue and body aches
· Feeling “jumpy”
· Difficulty working or concentrating
With your symptoms identified, the next step is to visit your doctor for a diagnosis. If you’re working with legal aid, like this car accident lawyer in San Francisco, then you may want to talk to them first. A lawyer can recommend a doctor or specialist for you that will get you the proof and help you need.
From there, the challenge is getting your insurance company to work with you. These companies are notorious for covering the least amount of damages possible after an accident, which makes proving PTSD after a car accident claim difficult. To do so, your lawyer will need to prove the following:
· The other driver’s owed you a duty of care and failed to do so
· The other driver was acting negligently or carelessly
· Psychological trauma led to lost wages, pain, and suffering
· Your PTSD symptoms are a direct result of the car accident
Your insurance company will want to see your medical history, which your lawyer will help you gather and provide. Expect your insurer to use any prior mental illness against your claim. While it is unfortunate, especially on top of your emotional distress, your legal aid will help you fight your case.
While it’s vital that you gain the financial compensation you’re entitled to, it’s equally as important that you address your PTSD and seek psychological help. Unlike physical injuries, PTSD isn’t something that heals on its own.
After your diagnosis, your doctor or lawyer can recommend psychological professionals. Therapy and counseling are the most useful tools for overcoming PTSD and its symptoms. This condition is one you have to work through, one step at a time, until you regain control over your mind and your life.
On the plus side, proving your PTSD to your insurer and in court will ensure that your treatment is paid for and that can you recover any lost wages from time off work. It might be a long road ahead, but seeking the compensation you deserve makes it that much easier.