Car accidents are traumatic events for any person involved and in the state of Indiana, they are increasingly frequent. The emotional damage after an accident can be debilitating and severely affect someone’s day-to-day life. Even minor car accidents can leave a lasting impact, sometimes causing the psychological response of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
After an accident, it is normal to have some anxiety around driving or vehicles for some time. However, the difference between PTSD and anxiety is that PTSD does not go away and can even worsen with time.
Symptoms of PTSD after a car accident include the inability to operate or ride in a vehicle, making simple tasks like commuting and running errands difficult. These symptoms can be life-altering. Victims should seek compensation for these struggles and their solutions, including counseling, medication, and financial compensation.
Can You Get PTSD from a Minor Car Accident?
Of victims involved in car accidents, 39.2% of them will experience post-traumatic stress. The severity of the accident does not determine whether or not the people involved will suffer psychological effects. Often PTSD after a car accident goes unreported because the victim may not be aware that the trauma from the accident is what caused their symptoms.
Pain and Suffering in Indiana
In Indiana, you can make a personal injury claim that is non-economic. These claims cover damages that do not have a tangible dollar amount like medical bills or lost wages do. Included in non-economic damages is pain and suffering. Pain and suffering claims may be filed regardless of the magnitude of a car accident. Both major and minor car accidents can cause pain and suffering or PTSD, affecting your ability to function and complete daily tasks.
Pain and suffering is recognized in Indiana as:
- Loss of enjoyment of activities
- Physical pain
- Loss of companionship
Despite the frequency of PTSD cases after car accidents, it may not always be easy to get a car accident PTSD settlement.
How to Receive Compensation
In order to receive compensation of any kind, you must create a case and prove that compensation is due. Working with a personal injury attorney is recommended to build your claim, especially if you are suffering from PTSD car accident symptoms.
Building a claim is simpler when seeking compensation for damages such as property damage or physical injuries sustained. A physical injury can be proven with X-rays or a doctor’s evaluation, and property damage can be proven by a police report or photo evidence. However, a mental or psychological injury has more nuance and must be examined by a psychologist and be proven to have been triggered by the accident.
Victims consistently seeking therapy or counseling have an advantage because their therapist could provide records of their symptoms before the accident. This historical information can strengthen a personal injury claim case.
If you haven’t been to therapy before the accident but have started since then, it should be included in your case. Showing that you’ve been taking steps to heal after the accident can increase your chances of receiving compensation in a car accident PTSD settlement.
Statute of Limitations in Indiana
The statute of limitations for a personal injury claim in Indiana is two years. It’s recommended you file immediately, but mental health can be unclear and more difficult to recognize immediately. Fortunately, you have two years after the accident to prepare and submit your claim.
After an accident, you should always take steps to ensure that you are taken care of. Assessing your physical and mental health, even if you feel like you are fine, is a prudent step to take. In the case of PTSD, you may not know you are suffering from it until a week or months after the accident. Although you have up to two years to make a claim, why wait to begin to receive compensation and begin healing?
At Crossen Law Firm, we specialize in personal injury claims and are dedicated to getting you your full compensation. If you or a loved one are suffering from PTSD after a car accident, call us at 317-401-8626 or contact us today.