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PTSD After a Car Accident in NY

Posted on 04/17/24

Experiencing the symptoms of PTSD can be debilitating. Vehicle accident victims often suffer from PTSD symptoms during the weeks, months, and even years after the incident occurs. The trauma of experiencing an accident and subsequent injuries, as well as the recovery process, can be daunting. Here, we want to discuss some of the common PTSD symptoms car accident victims experience, as well as whether or not these individuals can recover compensation for their suffering.

PTSD Symptoms After a Vehicle Accident

A recent study performed by the Crash Injury Research and Engineering Network (CIREN) shows that PTSD was seen to develop in around 28% of car accident victims within six months after the incident. Unfortunately, the symptoms associated with PTSD following an accident can be extremely debilitating as a person works on their recovery process and tries to move forward with their daily lives. Some of these symptoms include:

  • Recurring memories of the accident. Individuals may relive the traumatic event through flashbacks, nightmares, or intrusive thoughts, making it difficult to move past the incident.
  • Avoidance behaviors. A person might avoid places, activities, or individuals that remind them of the incident, which can lead to social isolation and withdrawal from daily activities.
  • Negative changes in thinking and mood. Feelings of hopelessness, memory problems, difficulty maintaining close relationships, and diminished interest in activities previously enjoyed are common.
  • Increased arousal and reactivity. Symptoms might include being easily startled, feeling tense or “on edge,” having difficulty sleeping and experiencing angry outbursts.

The course of PTSD will vary. Some individuals recover from PTSD symptoms within six months, but it is not uncommon for PTSD symptoms to last for a year or more.

Recovering Compensation for Car Accident PTSD

Car accident victims who experience PTSD in the weeks and months following the incident may be able to recover compensation for this particular type of injury. In general, crash victims can recover specific types of economic damages after the incident, typically focusing on property damage expenses, medical bills, and lost income following the incident.

However, recovering compensation for PTSD following an accident in New York can be more challenging because this is a no-fault insurance state. Generally, crash victims are only able to recover compensation beyond a basic amount for economic damages if their injuries reach what is considered a “serious injury threshold.”

Unfortunately, non-economic damages, which is typically where compensation for PTSD symptoms comes from, are not available through the no-fault insurance system in New York. However, if a person’s claim meets the serious injury threshold, they may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit in New York civil court against the at-fault party, opening the door for a range of damage types, including noneconomic damages.

Working With an Attorney

Encourage you to speak to a skilled personal injury lawyer with experience handling complex vehicle accidents as soon as possible. If you or a loved one have experienced symptoms of PTSD following a collision, you may be able to recover compensation. A Buffalo car accident attorney can examine the facts of your case and help you determine all possible routes of compensation for your losses.