Can I Obtain Compensation for PTSD After a Car Accident in North Carolina?

Car accidents can cause much more than physical injuries and pain. They are often nerve-wracking experiences that terrify victims, leaving lasting emotional scars. After a traumatic accident, victims may be diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD is a mental health condition that can be triggered after going through a traumatic event such as a car accident. In most cases, clients who suffer physical injuries in a car accident also suffer mental injuries.

What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?

When fear, anxiety, shock, and feelings of helplessness occur after a car accident, they usually dissipate eventually. However, for some car accident victims, traumatic reactions worsen after the accident. Developing PTSD can undermine the victim's quality of life. The symptoms of PTSD vary from person to person. Every case of PTSD is unique, and each car accident victim will suffer their own set of symptoms. However, the symptoms are typically categorized into the following groups:

  • Avoidance
  • Intrusive memories
  • Negative changes in thinking and cognition
  • Changes in emotional or physical reactions

Suppose you are experiencing disturbing thoughts after the car accident, or you have experienced one or more of the following symptoms. In that case, we recommend reaching out to a medical professional to discuss your symptoms:

  • Physiological reactions to reminders of the accident
  • Nightmares and flashbacks about the accident
  • Persistent feelings of anger, shame, guilt, or horror
  • An exaggerated startle response
  • Feelings of isolating behavior or detachment
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Loss of interest in usual activities
  • Severe depression
  • Feelings of hopelessness about the future
  • Inability to feel positive emotions
  • Emotional numbness
  • Outbursts of anger
  • Purposeful avoidance of people, places, or other reminders of the trauma

Obtaining a diagnosis of PTSD after the accident and appropriate medical treatment can help prevent your symptoms from worsening over time. Receiving medical treatment can also help you with your compensation claim. The sooner you were treated, the more obvious it would be that the car accident caused your injuries. The most important thing after your car accident is to protect your health, safety, and well-being.

The Challenges of Bringing a PTSD Claim in North Carolina

Even though PTSD is a well-recognized mental health condition, recovering compensation for PTSD is not always easy. Hiring an attorney can help you increase your chances of recovering more compensation on average than a person who represents themselves. If you have been in a car accident and you have since been diagnosed with PTSD, hiring an attorney is even more critical. These cases are often complicated, and dealing with an insurance company that wants to pay you the bare minimum in compensation will make it even more challenging. 

Insurance claims adjusters frequently try to deny or minimize victims' claims that they have been diagnosed with PTSD. If the onset of symptoms of PTSD was delayed by several months after the accident, the delay is not unusual, and the diagnosis is still valid. However, insurance adjusters and defendants will try to use this delay to avoid paying compensation for PTSD symptoms.

Hiring a North Carolina personal injury lawyer with a strong track record of success is a step in the right direction. The attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC will diligently investigate your case and fight hard to help you recover damages to pay for your medication, counseling, psychotherapy, and other PTSD treatments. You may be able to recover compensation from the income that you have lost because of your inability to work due to your PTSD symptoms. Damages for emotional anguish and suffering are also available.

Contributory Negligence

North Carolina follows a legal doctrine called contributory negligence. This legal doctrine can make it difficult to obtain compensation after a car accident. If the court finds that you were even 1% at fault for the car accident, you will be barred from recovering compensation for injuries. Defendants and insurance companies will try to show that you were responsible for the accident and the resulting PTSD. Arnold & Smith, PLLC will work diligently to show that you were not responsible for the car accident.

Reach Out to an Experienced PTSD Attorney

You are not alone if you have been diagnosed with PTSD after a car accident. You do not have to go through the process of obtaining compensation by yourself. The attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, can handle every aspect of your claim and fight for the most compensation available. Contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC, today to schedule your free case evaluation and learn more about your legal rights. 

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