Car accidents are never welcome, but sometimes they can be much more than inconvenient; they can be traumatic, altering the way you view the world. Because car accidents come out of the blue, they can leave the victim with feelings of fear that reach the very depths of the soul. On top of the physical damages, which may include burns, cuts, abrasions, and muscle damage, car accidents can leave emotional scars that are much harder to prove in a court of law.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident that left you with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), you need a PTSD lawyer in Seattle who understands your special circumstances and can stand up for your rights.

What is PTSD?

PTSD is an acronym that stands for post-traumatic stress disorder. It’s a psychological condition that sometimes occurs after a person has been involved in a traumatic event, such as a car accident. Note that, with PTSD, the person may not have been personally involved; they may have just witnessed something horrifying. PTSD is known to soldiers who returned home with lingering symptoms long after the horrors of war had passed. PTSD has gone by a variety of labels, including “shell shock” during World War I and “combat fatigue” following World War II, although we now know that PTSD does not only affect combat veterans. Any person of any race, nation, or culture, and at any age, may have PTSD following a traumatic event.

Long after the horrific incident has passed, people with PTSD continue to endure intense, unsettling thoughts and sensations connected to their experience. Flashbacks or dreams may cause them to relive the incident, they may experience grief, fear, or rage, and they may feel distant or alienated from other people. A loud noise or an unintentional touch can trigger significant negative emotions in those with PTSD, who may avoid circumstances or people who remind them of the traumatic occurrence.

Symptoms of PTSD

Once a person has experienced a traumatic event, it’s not uncommon for them to struggle with the after-effects long afterward. It’s like the memories of the event are constantly haunting them, and they just can’t seem to escape. For some, this manifests as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and the symptoms can really take a toll on their everyday lives.

  • Reliving the trauma – One minute, they’re fine, and the next, it feels like they’re right back in the thick of it. They might have vivid nightmares or flashbacks that make it feel like the trauma’s happening all over again.
  • Avoidance – They can’t bear to think about the event or anything that reminds them of it. They might go out of their way to avoid places, people, or things that trigger memories of the trauma.
  • Negative changes in mood and thinking – It’s tough to stay positive when you’re struggling with PTSD. They might feel down more often than not or have trouble connecting with loved ones. They might even blame themselves for what happened.
  • Being on edge – It’s like they’re always waiting for the other shoe to drop. They might be constantly on high alert, jumpy, or easily startled. Sometimes, they struggle with anger or irritability, too.

In severe cases of PTSD, it can be like living in a never-ending nightmare. It’s not just about the flashbacks or the bad dreams anymore. The symptoms can become all-consuming, making it hard for the person to function in their day-to-day lives. This is when a PTSD lawyer can step in and help the victim get reparation for the emotional and psychological damages of PTSD.

  • Extreme aversion/avoidance – They just can’t deal with anything that reminds them of the trauma. They might completely shut down or feel a deep sense of dread when faced with triggers. It’s like they’re doing everything they can to escape the pain, even if it means missing out on the things they used to enjoy.
  • Isolation – Feeling alone is all too common when the symptoms are this intense. They might pull away from friends and family, believing that no one can truly understand what they’re going through. It’s tough to maintain relationships when you’re constantly battling the demons in your head.
  • Intrusive thoughts – It’s like they can’t catch a break. Even when they’re trying to focus on something else, the traumatic memories keep forcing their way in. These thoughts can be so persistent that it feels like they’re drowning in them.
  • Paranoia – Trust becomes a rare commodity. They might be suspicious of others, worried that they’re out to get them or that they’ll be hurt again. This constant state of fear can make it nearly impossible to relax or feel safe.
  • Cognitive distortion – Their thoughts can get really twisted up. They might believe that they’re to blame for the trauma or that they’re a burden to others. Sometimes, they can’t even trust their own perceptions of reality, making it difficult to separate what’s true from what’s a product of their PTSD.

When one considers the horrific scenes of some car accidents, it’s no wonder that PTSD has a chance to set in. Contact a Seattle car accident law firm for help.

Why do Car Accidents Cause PTSD?

Research shows that car crashes are a leading cause of PTSD. About 39.2% of crash survivors develop PTSD after car accidents. That’s why these victims need the help of a Seattle car accident law firm.

As an experienced car accident lawyer in Seattle can tell you, car accidents can be incredibly traumatic. Losing loved ones or simply facing the threat of injury or loss can be enough to trigger a mental reaction that lingers long after the accident. Get legal help from a car accident lawyer in Seattle.

Recovery From Car-Accident-Related PTSD

In Washington, injured survivors and family members of those who’ve lost their lives in crashes are allowed to claim non-economic damages, like PTSD. The emotional turmoil, physical pain, and mental anguish that comes with such a traumatic event are recognized by the Seattle courts as damages that can be recovered. Consulting a Seattle PTSD after car accident attorney can make a significant difference in your case.

If a doctor diagnoses you with PTSD after a car accident, your chances of receiving compensation for pain and suffering damages could go up. The state of Washington recognizes that PTSD is a very real consequence of car accidents and believes that those affected deserve to be compensated for the emotional distress they’ve experienced.

When you’re dealing with the aftermath of a car accident, a Seattle PTSD after car accident attorney can help. That’s where Craig Swapp & Associates come in. They’re committed to helping you navigate the complexities of your car accident case and ensuring that you get the compensation you deserve for your physical injuries, PTSD, and more. Contact us for a free consultation.

Written By: Ryan Swapp     Legal Review By: Craig Swapp