Not all of the injuries that you can suffer in an accident are physical. Your mental and emotional state can be severely damaged, as well. One way this can happen is when the event was so disturbing that your mind keeps replaying it, over and over again. These memories can be so vivid that it triggers your fight-or-flight response. When this happens often enough, it can make your daily life much more difficult, and prevent you from doing the things you want to do, or having the relationships you want to have with other people.
This is post traumatic stress syndrome, and many accident victims suffer from it. The personal injury lawyers at Gilman & Bedigian in Baltimore understand the tribulations these victims go through, and can advocate on your behalf if you suffer from it.
What is Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome?
Post traumatic stress syndrome is a mental disorder that victims can suffer after an exceptionally traumatic event. While post traumatic stress syndrome is most common after incidents that involve intentional acts of other people – like assaults, rapes, or warfare – it is not rare for victims to suffer it after an accidental injury.
Generally, victims of post traumatic stress syndrome will experience vivid and disturbing mental images and memories of a past traumatic event. These memories are so intense that they are unable to keep from reacting to the memory as if it were real, and the danger present. Typically these memories are triggered by something that reminds the victim – however tangentially – of the traumatic event.
Post traumatic stress syndrome can first appear a few months after the traumatic incident has passed. However, symptoms can continue for years afterward, especially if left untreated.
Causes of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome
Post traumatic stress syndrome can be the result of a wide variety of incidents. For most victims of post traumatic stress syndrome, the cause was an intentional incident, like an assault or crime. However, for many others, the devastating effects of post traumatic stress syndrome come from less intentional causes.
- Car accidents. A frequent source of post traumatic stress syndrome is a car accident. Whether the victim was a driver or a pedestrian or biker, the sights and sounds of particularly devastating and disturbing accidents can lodge themselves into the memory of those involved, or even in innocent bystanders.
- Workplace accidents. Many of the worst accidental injuries that you can suffer happen on the worksite, particularly in the construction industry. From falls to explosions to fires to equipment malfunctions or mistakes, the injuries that workers can suffer are severe and the manner in which they happen can be traumatizing to even the most stoic person nearby. Even if your injury does fall within the sphere of your workers' compensation coverage, your post traumatic stress syndrome could still be compensated.
An important part of post traumatic stress syndrome is that even people who are not physically hurt during these terrible events can still suffer from it. Coworkers on the job site who see someone else get terribly hurt can be traumatized so severely that the memory haunts them and keeps them from working like they could, before.
Compensation for Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome
When someone else caused an accident that led to you suffering from post traumatic stress syndrome, there is no reason why you should be the one to pay for the costs associated with the condition. Instead, they should be the one to foot the bills and reimburse you for the losses you have suffered, thanks to their negligence or poor conduct.
Thankfully, the personal injury law in Maryland recognizes that this is the case. Therefore, if you suffer from post traumatic stress syndrome thanks to the negligence of someone else, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against them and formally request that they reimburse you for the losses you have gone through at their hands. Those losses include:
- Lost wages and earning capacity. Many people who suffer from the effects of post traumatic stress syndrome will find themselves unable to work like they did before. Whether because the sights and sounds of work remind victims of the earlier event that so traumatized them, or because the crippling memories keep them from going in to work every day, victims of post traumatic stress syndrome can lose wages and see their ability to earn an income deflate.
- Compensation for your suffering. Personal injury cases, if successful, aim to recover compensation for your loss of life's enjoyments. Post traumatic stress syndrome can drastically impact your ability to live your life the way you most want to, and you deserve to be compensated for the suffering that you feel, knowing that you can no longer enjoy these activities.
- Emotional distress. Post traumatic stress syndrome is, at its core, a form of mental and emotional anguish. Luckily, in Baltimore and the rest of Maryland, this anguish is a recognized legal damage that can be compensated in a personal injury case.
These forms of compensation are in addition to the medical bills that you have accumulated through months or even years of therapy and medications to cope with your post traumatic stress syndrome. Altogether, these legal damages are meant to put you back on your feet – as close to where you would have been, were it not for the other person's negligence.
Baltimore Personal Injury Attorneys at Gilman & Bedigian
The personal injury lawyers at the law office of Gilman & Bedigian in Baltimore know and understand the effects that post traumatic stress syndrome can have on an accident victim. We also know how difficult it can be for many people to come forward and admit to being emotionally and mentally scarred from a terrible accident, and to demand compensation for their losses, even if they know they have a right to it.
If you or someone you love suffers from post traumatic stress syndrome, reach out to the lawyers at Gilman & Bedigian for the help you need. Contact us online.