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Can I Recover Compensation for PTSD?

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Posted on December 27, 2023

PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder, is an invisible consequence of getting involved in an accident. Unlike a physical injury, there may be no outward signs of PTSD. However, this does not make PTSD any less real to a victim. PTSD can result in medical care, lost wages and debilitating physical symptoms. In Florida, it is possible to recover compensation for PTSD through a personal injury claim.

What Is PTSD?

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a mental health condition that is characterized by fear and anxiety caused by living through or witnessing a traumatic event. While PTSD diagnoses in the past were mainly reserved for soldiers returning from war zones, this term now applies to anyone who develops psychological trauma after being involved in a frightening or emotionally traumatic event, such as catastrophic accidents, criminal attacks, sexual assaults and natural disasters.

Symptoms of PTSD

An individual with PTSD from a personal injury accident – such as a car crash or dog attack – could exhibit any of the following signs and symptoms:

  • Chronic anxiety
  • Depression
  • Flashbacks
  • Nightmares or difficulty sleeping
  • New fears surrounding certain triggers
  • Mood swings
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Being easily startled
  • Enhanced irritability or aggression
  • Feeling numb or detached

Although PTSD is a psychiatric disorder, it can come with physical symptoms that are debilitating and get to the point where the victim cannot function.

Can You Recover Compensation for PTSD Without a Physical Injury?

Under Florida law, it is possible to recover compensation for emotional distress or psychological trauma without a corresponding physical injury. While most personal injury cases in Florida for PTSD include severe injuries that contribute to the emotional trauma experienced by a victim, physical injury is not a requirement.

For instance, if an accident victim witnessed the death of a loved one, this can be enough to make the victim eligible for PTSD damages (compensation) without a physical injury. Damages awarded for PTSD may cover related medical expenses, such as the costs of psychiatric care or prescription medications.

A successful PTSD claim may also reimburse a victim for wages lost due to the inability to work, including future lost capacity to earn due to a severe or long-lasting case of PTSD. Physical pain and emotional suffering caused by PTSD are also recoverable damages in a Florida personal injury case.

How to File a Claim for PTSD in Florida

If you were recently involved in an accident in Florida and believe you may have post-traumatic stress disorder, visit a doctor or psychologist to obtain an official diagnosis. Medical records supporting your PTSD claim will make it easier to qualify for financial compensation for your mental, emotional and psychological harm.

Get medical care for your mental health condition without delay. Failing to see a mental health professional soon after a traumatic accident can impact your well-being and interfere with your ability to recover compensation for your related losses. For example, you could risk missing your statute of limitations or a shorter deadline established by the insurance company.

Do not wait for a PTSD diagnosis to contact a Tampa personal injury lawyer. You should consult with an attorney as soon as possible about the possibility of recovering damages from an insurance company. A lawyer will guide you through the right steps to take to file a PTSD claim and negotiate with an insurer on your behalf. Call Vanguard Attorneys at (813) 471-4444 for a free consultation.