Brad Pistotnik Law
Abogado El Toro

Commonality of Mental Health Injuries After an Accident

Commonality of Mental Health Injuries After an Accident

How common are mental health injuries following a motor vehicle accident? How do these injuries affect the survivor's quality of life, relationships, and their ability to work? The overwhelming majority of car accident survivors experience some form of mental trauma as the result of the accident. If the accident is more severe or results in a fatality, or if the individual has experienced other significant trauma in the past, the risk is even greater.

Mental Health and Motor Vehicle Accidents

Motor vehicle accidents can cause significant mental trauma to survivors. Studies from the early 2000's showed that between 6% to 25% of adolescents and children suffered PTSD following a motor vehicle collision. For adults, that rate rose to just over 39%. A study conducted by the American Psychiatric Association showed that as many as 68% of accident survivors experienced severe PTSD symptoms within four months post-accident.

Nationwide, approximately 3.5% of the population suffers from PTSD, with soldiers and accident survivors making up the majority of these individuals. Studies conducted in the early 2000's showed that 1% of Americans are involved in a serious, personal injury or fatality causing motor vehicle accident each year. This means that a significant number of the population is at risk of developing PTSD following a car accident.

Non-economic Damages in Kansas

Motor vehicle accident survivors in Kansas can pursue emotional damages from defendants. This allows individuals to recover compensation stemming from considerable pain as a result of the injury, a temporary or permanent disability, disfigurement, depression, or other mental injury.

Drivers cannot pursue compensation for emotional damages in cases involving an uninsured/underinsured motorist. In Kansas, the statutory limit plaintiffs can pursue for emotional damages is between $250,000 and $350,000 depending on the date of the injury causing accident. For accidents occurring before 2014, the limit is $250,000. For accidents occurring between July 2014 and July 2018, the limit is $300,000. For accidents occurring between July 2018 and July 2022, the limit is $325,000, with accidents occurring after this date eligible for up to $350,000 compensation for non-economic losses.

Accident Trauma and Mental Health

Mental health can suffer considerably following a motor vehicle accident. Individuals who survive a car accident can suffer severe anxiety, unpredictable mood swings, and a general sense of fearfulness. Individuals may also experience loss of appetite and enjoyment of once-beloved activities, changes in sleep patterns and nightmares. These changes negatively impact the individual's quality of life, ability to maintain relationships, and ability to work. These and other symptoms of PTSD can be triggered by certain sounds or anytime they get into a motor vehicle.

Treating PTSD

It is possible to effectively treat PTSD following a motor vehicle accident. Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) takes between 12-16 weeks to complete and can provide both short and long-term relief from symptoms. Similarly, Prolonged Exposure therapy (PE) that incorporates Eye Movement Desensitation and Reprocessing (EMDR) and Stress Inoculation Training (SIT) can help accident victims process their memory of events and process potential triggers so that they can function.

Have you been involved in a motor vehicle accident? We always give free consultations and we answer the phone 24/7 and on weekends and holidays. Our attorneys represent clients who suffer PTSD following motor vehicle accidents in Kansas, Nebraska, Texas, and Illinois. We can help you pursue and recover emotional damages and financial losses following your motor vehicle accident. Call us at 1-800-241-BRAD or on our local line at 316-684-4400. You can call Brad Pistotnik on his cell at 316-706-5020. You can call Tony Atterbury on his cell at 316-617-9237. In Western Kansas you can call 620-THE-BULL.