The injuries that you can suffer in an accident in Philadelphia are not just physical; they can be mental or emotional, as well. In fact, in many cases, the most difficult thing to recover from can be the sights and sounds of the accident. For some people, the memory of the incident can be so vivid that it triggers their “fight-or-flight” response, making it difficult to cope with day-to-day life.
This can be the medical condition of post traumatic stress syndrome. Many victims of the most severe accidents in Philadelphia suffer from it, and the result can be traumatizing. That is why the personal injury lawyers at the Philadelphia law office of Gilman & Bedigian work to legally represent those suffering from post traumatic stress syndrome both in and outside of the courtroom.
What is Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome?
Post traumatic stress syndrome is a mental condition that replays especially traumatic events over and over again in your mind. While post traumatic stress syndrome is common after horrific events, like physical or sexual assaults or warfare, it is not unheard of for the survivors of accidents to suffer post traumatic stress syndrome as well.
In most cases of post traumatic stress syndrome, victims report experiencing incredibly vivid and disturbing memories of a traumatic event in their past. While the event has come and gone – and victims know that it is in their past – the memories can be so disconcerting and intense that they are unable to keep their minds and bodies from being distressed by the mental images. Instead, it is as if the traumatic event is recurring again even though it is only happening in a victim's mind.
Worse, these mental images can be triggered by even the most mundane things as long as they remind a victim of the terrible ordeal that they have been through. If left untreated, post traumatic stress syndrome can appear months after a terrible event and continue for years afterwards.
Causes of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome
While most cases of post traumatic stress syndrome are the result of an intentional act, like an assault or other crime, any kind of accident that is common in Philadelphia can also trigger the condition if it is severe or disturbing enough.
- Car crashes. A car accident can lead to a case of post traumatic stress syndrome if the sight and sounds of the incident are so bothersome that they stay in a victim's mind for months after the event. Accidents involving motorcyclists, pedestrians, or bicyclists are the most likely to lead to post traumatic stress syndrome, largely because of how little protection these victims have in the crash and how visible the repercussions are.
- Workplace accidents. Accidents that happen in the workplace, particularly in dangerous jobs like construction or other heavy industries, can be devastating and traumatizing. Workplace injuries like amputations are not uncommon in the U.S. and can leave both the victim and any bystanders mentally scarred from the incident.
Even people who are not directly hurt by a terrible accident can suffer post traumatic stress syndrome if they directly witnessed it happening. In Pennsylvania, personal injury law allows these bystanders to recover compensation for their mental anguish.
Compensation for Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome in Philadelphia
Perhaps the most frustrating aspect of being hurt in an accident that was caused by someone else's negligence is the fact that you are left suffering, through no fault of your own. Worse, there was often no way for you to anticipate or avoid the incident. Now, once the dust has settled, you are the one who has to pay for the costs of your recovery.
The personal injury law in Philadelphia understands how unfair and unjust this can be and requires the person or the people responsible for your losses to compensate you for what they have done. Importantly, this compensation goes beyond just the costs of your medical expenses – something that is especially important for victims of post traumatic stress syndrome, which tends to drastically impact your quality of life, without amassing many medical bills. Instead, a successful personal injury lawsuit for post traumatic stress syndrome can recover losses associated with the following.
- Mental anguish and suffering. Post traumatic stress syndrome can make it very difficult to enjoy your life the way you did before the incident because it constantly brings back vivid reminders of the terrible ordeal that you have been put through. While this suffering is difficult to put into a dollar amount, Pennsylvania's personal injury law puts the issue to a jury to decide what is right.
- Emotional distress. Our state's personal injury law also recognizes the fact that the emotional suffering that is so central to a post traumatic stress syndrome condition can drastically impair your ability to live life to its fullest and aims to compensate that loss.
- Lost wages and ability to earn a living. Finally, post traumatic stress syndrome can prevent you from performing on the job the same as you had before the incident that changed your life. If this keeps you out of work, you can recover the wages that you lost. If it makes it impossible for you to do your job and that leads to a demotion or a change in position that comes with a wage decrease, you can also be reimbursed for that professional loss, as well.
Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help
If you or someone you love has been involved in a terrible accident, you can suffer from post traumatic stress syndrome. While this injury is not a physical one, it can be far more debilitating than any visible condition you can suffer. When you suffer it in an accident that was not your fault, you deserve to be compensated for what you have been put through.
The personal injury lawyers at Gilman & Bedigian in Philadelphia can help. Contact us online for the legal assistance you need.