Can a Motorcycle Accident Cause PTSD?

Can a Motorcycle Accident Cause PTSD?

A woman sitting on a sidewalk crying, while a police officer tends to her, and with a motorcycle in the foreground.

Post-traumatic stress disorder is very real and more common than most people know. It can easily develop after a motorcycle accident, especially when life-altering injuries and deaths occur.

Not everyone will develop PTSD. It depends on the individual and the circumstances surrounding the incident.

That said, anyone involved in the accident can potentially develop PTSD, including passengers and witnesses. You may be experiencing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder if you have noticed any of the following:

  • An increased heart rate or feelings of anxiety when thinking about your accident
  • The need to avoid the location of your accident or to avoid driving or even being in a car
  • Becoming hypervigilant of your surroundings, especially in traffic
  • Reactive to loud noises, specifically traffic noises
  • Feeling jumpy or easily startled
  • Flashbacks or nightmares about the accident
  • Becoming stressed or on edge when in or around vehicles

These reactions are the activation of your body’s natural defense after a traumatic event. Your body is trying to avoid a similar event by defending against any real or perceived dangers related to the experience.

What Is the Average Payout for PTSD?

Post-traumatic stress disorder is considered an accident-related injury in many circumstances. According to The Highland Springs Clinic, “Emotional trauma and PTSD do cause both brain and physical damage.”

As long as it is proven that someone else caused the accident, you can file a personal injury insurance claim or lawsuit for compensation for your PTSD-related expenses. The amount you receive will depend on your costs, such as:

  1. Mental health treatment bills
  2. Prescription medication to treat mental anguish, such as anxiety or depression
  3. Lost wages from being unable to work due to emotional distress. For example, fear of getting into vehicles can prevent you from getting to work, or flashbacks of the accident can affect your ability to focus.
  4. Decreased quality of life, primarily due to debilitating injuries
  5. Pain and suffering

There is no true average payout for post-traumatic stress disorder or for motorcycle accidents in general because of the uniqueness of each case.

Mental Health Treatment Bills

Treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder includes therapy, counseling, and sometimes stays in rehabilitation facilities or hospitals. Any other injuries will also be included in your claim.

Prescription Medication

Psychiatrists often prescribe medication to help treat the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. These may be longer-term antidepressants or short-term medication to help you sleep if nightmares are keeping you awake.

As long as your medications are a direct result of the accident that was caused by someone else, compensation is owed to you.

Lost Wages

It is common to be unable to work while recovering from physical injuries.

People tend to forget that emotional distress also causes people to miss work. It can even cause them to lose their jobs entirely because jobs that require focus and concentration become impossible for someone with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Some people become unable to commute through traffic or travel at the high speeds that sharing the road requires.

Decreased Quality of Life

Debilitating injuries are devastating to live with, and they are also constant reminders of the crash that caused them. If you are no longer able to live the way you were before the accident, that means that your quality of life has been affected.

Proving that your quality of life has decreased can be difficult, but an experienced personal injury lawyer knows what questions to ask and what evidence you will need.

Pain and Suffering

Emotional pain, as well as physical pain, are difficult to prove. That’s why it is so important to seek medical attention right away after your accident.

Documentation from a medical professional will serve as the most important proof for your claim for damages.

How to Handle Psychological Damage From a Motorcycle Accident

  • It takes time to recover from an accident. Wounds will heal, and so will your mind.

Giving yourself time to accept what has happened and learning to live with any lasting changes are essential for your healing process.

  • Ask for help and support. Don’t try to go through this life-altering event by yourself.

Talk to your family and friends, find a therapist, and hire a lawyer to handle your claim for you.

  • Be realistic about what happened and how your life has changed.
  • Allow yourself to feel all the emotions that come with a traumatic experience. This permission is critical if you lose someone close to you as a result of the accident.

Allow yourself to grieve for them and also for yourself.

  • Talk to the other survivors of your accident or from similar accidents. Sharing your experience can help you cope.
  • Keep a healthy routine to avoid depression. Convincing yourself to keep going just one step at a time is vital for your recovery.

Depression can make you feel like doing nothing. The best way to overcome this is to keep going; a healthy routine will give you small attainable goals.

  • Stay optimistic about your future. You survived, and you will continue to improve.

Try to find a purpose to focus on while you recover.

Why Do I Need Mental Support?

Seeking help from a mental health professional will aid in your recovery and also in your claim for damages. You may choose to speak with a psychiatrist, psychologist, therapist, or counselor.

They will be able to diagnose your mental anguish and link your condition to your accident. The Mayo Clinic states that “Post-traumatic stress disorder treatment can help you regain a sense of control over your life.”

Documentation from these professionals will be used to prove your claim for damages. They can also help you work through your mental and emotional trauma.

How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help?

A personal injury lawyer will handle all aspects of your case in most circumstances. The attorneys at Goldblatt + Singer will determine whether you have a claim during your free consultation.

Once you hire us, we will take care of everything.

  • Accident investigation to determine who was at fault for causing the crash.
  • Collect evidence to prove negligence.
  • Determine the value of your damages.
  • Handle all communication with the insurance companies and any other entities involved.
  • File your personal injury insurance claim or lawsuit.
  • Negotiate with insurance companies and all other entities involved for the best possible compensation for you.
  • Create a lawsuit and take it to court if you choose to do so.

It is beneficial for you to refrain from talking to the insurance company yourself.

These companies can be cruel in their quest to deny claims and reduce payouts. They may even try to blame you for the accident when you are not at fault.

Let a lawyer do this work for you.

What Can I Do to Help My Case?

Get a medical examination right away after the accident so your injuries will have documentation linking them to the crash. Talk to a mental health professional to prevent or treat any post-traumatic stress symptoms that you or your passenger may be experiencing.

Professionals can diagnose and treat these mental health problems with talk therapy, medications, or other techniques.

Make a list of all property damage, including your motorcycle and all your gear. Keep all your documentation and keep a journal of everything you have to go through as a result of your accident.

Write down everything from treatments to how you feel, both physically and mentally. Discussing all the details of your accident and recovery with your lawyer is crucial.

Be honest about everything you have been experiencing since your accident. Physical and emotional damages both play a big part in your claim for compensation.

Your lawyer will have to prove that your emotional distress was caused by the accident and that it has had a significant impact on your life.

Why File for Damages?

Motorcycles are both fun and practical, but they are also dangerous. Motorcycle accidents are often near-death experiences that should never be downplayed in their severity.

Motorcyclists have equal rights to use all public roadways safely, just like every other vehicle. All drivers are responsible for driving with care and not putting anyone else’s life in danger through reckless or lazy driving.

Failure to look to see that the roadway is clear before turning, changing lanes, entering an intersection, or simply opening a door is not acceptable.

Motorcycle accidents leave riders severely injured, their lives often changed forever by a single moment that was not their fault. They are faced with long and difficult recovery times and enormous medical debt.

Filing a claim cannot heal the body and is not able to ease your emotional suffering. However, compensation will cover medical costs and other financial burdens, thus reducing your stress and enabling you to focus on your recovery and spending time with your loved ones.

Our Personal Injury Lawyers Are Here to Help After Your Motorcycle Accident

Contact Goldblatt + Singer as soon as possible to speak with a member of our team to see if you have a valid claim. Our consultations are free, and you will not pay anything until you have received a fair settlement.

Do not wait to receive what you are entitled to for damages you have suffered. Call us at (314) 231-4100 for your free consultation.

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