Post Traumatic Stress Compensation

    Physical injuries are only one of the possible injuries which may be caused by a Road Traffic Accident. However, another possible consequence of being in a traumatic accident involves the more hidden symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

    PTSD can be more difficult to diagnose and to treat, so it may be more difficult to recover costs of therapies which can help you recover from it, through a compensation claim. It is possible to claim for PTSD though, for an accident which was not your fault.

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    Understand Triggering

    ‘Trigger’ is a word which is sometimes poorly used or applied, for example when it refers to someone becoming slightly upset or offended.Being ‘triggered’ is actually a term to describe your body’s response to traumatic events though, with a re-experiencing of the strong emotions or sensations which occurred at the time of the accident.

    This happens when you are reminded of it suddenly due to a similar sight, sound, smell, taste, or any other sensory experience ‘triggering’ those memories to come flooding back. This can feel as though you are in the accident all over again.You might want to avoid things which trigger you, like the people who were with you in the car, the road you were driving on, driving, or being a passenger in a car.It might also include other situations which appear to be unrelated, but make you feel similarly to the accident in some way, such as being in confined spaces like lifts.


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    PTSD typically presents with the following symptoms:

    • Feeling overwhelmed by negative emotions or memories associated with the accident.
    • Nightmares
    • Re-living the accident (flashbacks) or imagining similar events in the future.
    • Insomnia
    • Intrusive thoughts about the accident or its impact on your daily life.
    • Edginess and irritability.
    • Problems concentrating at work or school.
    • Feeling isolated or ashamed to talk about your feelings.
    • Hyper-vigilance – looking for possible threats everywhere and reacting to ‘triggers’ (see below).
    • Self-blame, whether you were at fault, partially at fault, or not to blame for the accident at all.
    • ‘Survivor guilt’ if another person lost their life in the accident.
    • Substance abuse to cope with any or all of the above symptoms.

    These symptoms are not simply indicative of PTSD on their own though. When you have been experiencing them for more than a month, this is when you may have developed PTSD.

    At this point, you should see a doctor and try to find treatment which works for you.

    A medical examination should also be undertaken, to ensure that your compensation claim accurately reflects the true impact of the accident on your life. Insurance companies are usually sceptical of PTSD claims, which is why the help of a solicitor may be advantageous o your claim.

    Legal Advice

    If you or your loved one has PTSD after an accident and wishes to make a compensation claim, you can call Scot Accident Claims for a free initial consultation, or to find out more.


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