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PTSD After an Accident: Understanding and Seeking Legal Help

Psychologist writing down the notes about the young patient

Accidents, whether they involve vehicles, slip and falls, or workplace incidents, as well as assaults and other acts of violence, can leave more than just physical scars. The emotional and psychological impact of a traumatic event can be profound, leading to a condition known as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). At Rusk, Wadlin, Heppner & Martuscello, LLP, our Kingston personal injury lawyers understand the complexities of PTSD and are committed to helping accident victims in New York’s Hudson Valley navigate their path to recovery and justice.

What is PTSD?

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that can develop after a person experiences or witnesses a traumatic event. Symptoms of PTSD can vary widely but often include flashbacks, nightmares, severe anxiety, and uncontrollable thoughts about the event. These symptoms can interfere with a person’s daily life, relationships, and ability to work.

How Can Accidents Lead to PTSD?

Accidents are sudden, unexpected, and often life-threatening events that can overwhelm an individual’s ability to cope. The shock and fear experienced during and after an accident can trigger the development of PTSD. This is especially true if the accident resulted in serious injuries, the loss of a loved one, or if the individual felt a sense of helplessness or horror during the event.

Recognizing the Symptoms of PTSD

It’s important to recognize the symptoms of PTSD, which can be categorized into four main groups:

  1. Intrusive Thoughts: Repeated, involuntary memories, flashbacks, or distressing dreams related to the traumatic event.

  2. Avoidance: Avoiding reminders of the traumatic event, including places, activities, people, and even thoughts or feelings related to the accident.

  3. Negative Changes in Thinking and Mood: Feelings of hopelessness, memory problems, negative thoughts about oneself or others, and feelings of detachment or estrangement from others.

  4. Changes in Physical and Emotional Reactions: Being easily startled, feeling tense or “on edge,” difficulty sleeping, irritability, angry outbursts, or aggressive behavior.

Seeking Help for PTSD

If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of PTSD following an accident, it’s crucial to seek professional help. Treatment for PTSD may include therapy, medication, or a combination of both. Early intervention can be key to managing symptoms and improving quality of life.

The Role of a Personal Injury Lawyer in PTSD Cases

If your PTSD is the result of an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your suffering. A personal injury lawyer can help you:

  • Understand Your Legal Rights: An attorney can explain your rights and the legal options available to you.

  • Gather Evidence: A lawyer can help collect evidence to support your claim, including medical records, witness statements, and expert testimony.

  • Calculate Damages: An experienced attorney can help determine the full extent of your damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

  • Negotiate with Insurance Companies: A lawyer can handle negotiations with insurance companies to ensure you receive a fair settlement.

  • Represent You in Court: If necessary, a personal injury lawyer can represent you in court to fight for the compensation you deserve.

Compensation for PTSD related to an accident can involve both economic and non-economic damages, reflecting the costs of treatment as well as how the condition affects one’s quality of life. An experienced personal injury lawyer will understand how both aspects of PTSD damages come into play and how to build an evidence-based and compelling argument for an appropriate amount of compensation.

Contact Rusk, Wadlin, Heppner & Martuscello, LLP After a Traumatic Accident or Injury in Ulster County or the Hudson Valley

At Rusk, Wadlin, Heppner & Martuscello, LLP, we understand the profound impact that PTSD can have on an accident victim’s life. Our Kingston personal injury lawyers are dedicated to supporting our clients through every step of their legal journey. If you or a loved one is struggling with PTSD after an accident, contact us today for a free consultation at 845-331-4100 in Kingston, 845-236-4411 in Marlboro, or toll-free at 800-566-4101. We are here to help you seek the justice and compensation you deserve.

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