24 May

When we think about post-traumatic stress disorder, most of us think of combat veterans who have witnessed unthinkable horrors in war torn countries. However, post-traumatic stress disorder is triggered by many different situations. In fact, any individual is susceptible to post-traumatic stress disorder.

Post-traumatic stress disorder is defined by the American Psychiatric Association as “a psychiatric disorder that can occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event such as a natural disaster, a serious accident, a terrorist act, war/combat, rape, or other violent personal assault.”

Many motor vehicle accident victims experience post-traumatic stress disorder after a car accident, especially those where someone is seriously injured or killed. In fact, it is estimated that post-traumatic stress disorder affects around 1 in 11 people in the United States.

Post-traumatic stress disorder may also be triggered by second-hand exposure to an event. For example, if a family member finds out that an accident victim suffered a painful, excruciating death, that family member may develop post-traumatic stress disorder.


What are the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder?


There are several different ways that post-traumatic stress disorder may present itself. People with post-traumatic stress disorder usually experience:


  • Intense and disturbing thoughts or emotions about their experience
  • Flashbacks and nightmares
  • A feeling of detachment from others
  • A desire to avoid certain people or situations that may remind them of the event
  • Strong reactions to certain stimuli, such as flashing lights, loud noises, or being touched


Although many cases of post-traumatic stress disorder dissipate over time, others may require treatment from mental health professionals. Individual therapy, group therapy, and some medications have been beneficial in treating post-traumatic stress disorder.


Recovering damages for post-traumatic stress disorder


In a motor vehicle accident claim, the victim seeks damages as compensation for the pain and inconvenience the accident has caused. For example, the victim may seek reimbursement for medical expenses, such as emergency room bills and physical therapy bills.

One category of damages is called emotional distress, and it is usually included under the umbrella of pain and suffering. Emotional distress damages may be pursued when an accident victim has suffered some type of psychological distress after an accident. Anxiety, depression, and insomnia are examples of disorders that may qualify for emotional distress damages.

Post-traumatic stress disorder may also be included under emotional distress damages. To support a claim for emotional distress, the accident victim may need to submit medical records. Eyewitness statements about changes in the victim’s behavior may also need to be submitted.

Experienced injury attorneys know what must be submitted in a motor vehicle accident case to support an emotional distress claim.


If you are suffering after a motor vehicle accident, call our experienced New Jersey accident attorneys for legal guidance


At Brady, Brady & Reilly, LLC, we pursue emotional distress claims on behalf of accident victims with post-traumatic stress disorder. To schedule your free consultation with our experienced New Jersey injury attorneys, call 201-997-0030 or contact us online.