After a severe car accident, it is not uncommon for involved occupants and drivers in the vehicle to be dazed, confused or in shock. Children are often most affected by car crashes because of the loud screeches of the tires, flashing lights of emergency vehicles, and bits of shattered glass. All these can be very traumatic for young children, without even considering the effects of physical injuries which are often the result of severe auto collisions.
Post-traumatic stress disorder, more commonly known as PTSD, is sometimes observed in children after being involved in an auto accident. Statistics gathered by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) indicate that children are vulnerable to experiencing serious trauma after a collision.
If your kid has been involved in an auto accident and is showing signs and symptoms of PTSD, he or she may be able to recover financial compensation through the legal system. There are many different types of damages that can be recovered in a personal injury case, like medical, psychological, or psychiatric treatment that may be required post-collision. Damages can also provide compensation for more abstract concerns like pain and suffering, emotional distress, and mental anguish that are the result of being in a car crash
The experienced Salt Lake City personal injury attorneys at Siegfried & Jensen want to provide some information so you can know how to recovery deserved financial compensation for your child’s PTSD following an accident.
PTSD Symptoms in Children
PTSD is a kind of mental health condition that happens when someone experienced a traumatic event, such as physical violence of an auto accident. PTSD symptoms can vary widely in children largely due to the age and maturity of the child.
In the context of a vehicle collision, children can be extremely traumatized. In young children, PTSD can reveal itself in many forms, like fear of darkness, wetting the bed, and separation anxiety. Elementary school-aged children could act out, exhibiting outbursts of anger, changes in their social behaviors, nightmares, headaches, and sometimes insomnia.
Lastly, pre-teen or teenage children could show others signs, like poor performance in school, depression, anxiety, or insomnia. Certain teenagers may even grow a fear of driving once they reach driving age.
If your child is showing signs of symptoms of PTSD after being involved in a severe auto accident, it is important to provide them with pediatric treatment and psychological care as soon as possible. This can help curb the symptoms of PTSD and prevent them from developing more serious mental health concerns.
Treating PTSD after an Auto Accident
One positive aspect of PTSD is that it is fairly treatable if actions are taken to detect it early on. Treatment of PTSD can include many forms of cognitive behavioral therapy along with medication. Cognitive behavioral therapy can include having the child openly talk about the collision as well as developing helpful coping skills which can be used memories or flashbacks of the incident take place.
Another helpful treatment for PTSD in cases involving children is play therapy. Play therapy is often used to treat symptoms of PTSD in extremely young children. This kind of therapy relies on games or drawings to help young children cope with the negative associations after being harmed in a collision.
Recovering Financial Compensation for PTSD
It can often be difficult when attempting to provide proof of existing mental trauma after a car accident, including cases of PTSD. This can be particularly evident in cases involving young children who may not be able to express their feelings and emotions adequately. To add to the complexities of cases involving mental illness and trauma, insurance company adjusters are usually pretty skeptical of these conditions. They will go to great lengths in order to reduce or deny claims for compensation that are granted for this kind of illness. Keep in mind that the role of the adjuster is to save the insurance company money, and this is accomplished by offering as little as possible in financial compensation granted in personal injury claims.
In certain cases, the insurance company may try to place blame for the potential reasons for a victim’s condition of PTSD. These often include previous psychological treatment or counseling as well as prior traumatic experiences. Prior experiences can vary, possibly including the death of a parent, sibling, or another family member. Previous car crashes can also be used in order to deny your filing for a claim.
When providing financial compensation for PTSD or other mental conditions like emotional distress, mental anguish, and pain and suffering, the victim will have to establish a correlation with their condition of PTSD and the car crash itself. This can be done by using testimony from an expert medical professional, such as a psychologist, psychiatrist, or other experts. A mental health provider can confirm that the current and future treatment, as well as the cost for the treatment, for a child involved in an auto accident. These medical experts can also analyze the circumstances of the accident and provide a link between the PTSD and the car collision.
PTSD Inducing Car Crashes in Salt Lake City
Each and every year, many thousands are injured in the state of Utah in car crashes. These accidents are often the fault of another driver who was traveling at an unsafe speed, or maybe he or she was under the influence of drugs and alcohol. These negligent actions can cause drivers to swerve in and out of lanes, making other drivers to be afraid or to react quickly to these hazards.
For the past three decades, the Utah car crash lawyers at Siegfried & Jensen have helped countless families recover after the loss of a loved one at the hands of a reckless driver. We will work diligently to help you cover your damages and hold the responsible party liable for their role in the accident.
If you or a loved one has been injured as the result of a car accident, contact our offices today at (801) 845-9000 for a free, no-obligation consultation and to discuss the options for your case.