Emotional trauma following a motor vehicle accident
After a car crash occurs, the people involved in the accident typically focus on their injuries. Because physical injuries are often immediately obvious, this type of trauma can easily gain recognition. In contrast, psychological injuries can be harder to recognize, and people may not initially realize that the accident has caused them another type of trauma.
Emotional trauma can manifest itself as post-traumatic stress disorder. For people with PTSD, feelings of stress and fear persist past the point of any physical danger. The accident has ended, but their reactions to this frightening event still continue.
Symptoms of PTSD
The most common symptoms of PTSD fall into four general types. These types include symptoms related to avoidance, cognition and mood, re-experiencing, and arousal and reactivity. Although a person could notice any of these symptoms directly after the traumatic event, it is also possible for months or years to pass before they appear.
Someone experiencing avoidance symptoms will often try to avoid people or places that provoke memories of the traumatic event. A person with cognition and mood symptoms will typically notice that his or her beliefs and feelings now support a negative outlook. Re-experiencing symptoms can cause a person to feel fear when reminded of the original trauma. When dealing with arousal and reactivity symptoms, someone may appear to be jittery and constantly check for danger.
Compensation for distress
The emotional distress that can occur after an accident may interfere significantly with a person’s ability to work and perform basic living tasks. Juries consider certain factors when deciding how much compensation victims will receive for the emotional trauma they have experienced.
Some of these factors include the severity and frequency of the person’s symptoms as well as any underlying physical injuries. Juries will also take into account the possibility of future treatment for the victim and whether the trauma has led to a formal medical diagnosis. The outcome of each case will vary, but documenting your symptoms can help you to establish trauma and recover damages.
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