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Injuries Stemming from a Truck Accident: What is PTSD?

by The Beasley Firm  |  October 1, 2018  |  ,

As we travel the roads and highways every single day, we’re bound to see a lot of different vehicles, all of whom should have a focus on keeping others safe. Unfortunately, sometimes negligence does play a factor and the safety we often expect is thrown out of the window.

While accidents happen all the time, there are some that may be considered more dangerous and damaging than others. This is exactly the case when large commercial trucks are involved. These pose a number of threats when truck drivers are not paying close attention to the road.

Because of the large size of these commercial trucks, any type of crash can lead to a significant amount of damage. However, there is more to consider than just the physical damage that a person can sustain. There are also emotional damages that may arise as a result of a large trucking accident.

Understanding all of the damages that may be sustained, as well as some of the matters that may arise through the legal matters is important. This is why we provide information regarding post-traumatic stress disorder after a truck accident and what victims may be able to do to recover.

What Is PTSD and How Does It Happen?

Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is often a term referred to when a soldier returns home from war. But that isn’t the only situation in which the term is applicable. In general, it is a brain condition that often causes the individual to relive a traumatic experience, including those such as a trucking accident, or a sudden loss of a loved one, especially if that person observes the loved one’s injuries or passing.

PTSD can impact the entirety of a person’s life, often altering the way the brain retains memories during the time of the crash. It also associates this memory with feelings of fear, anxiety, and other emotions. These are also associated with various triggers stemming from the accident such as sight and sound.

After something as serious as a trucking accident, there may be times where the survivor would relive the crash, as well as the effects based on potential triggers. For instance, if the truck driver sounded his or her horn just before the crash, that sound could, in the future, potentially cause the survivor with PTSD to have a flashback to the accident.

PTSD begins when your brain holds the memory in a different way than what it typically does. Different parts of your brain are responsible for how you retain memories, but in highly stressful moments, the brain alters and now the fear becomes more prominent.

What Are the Effects of PTSD and Flashbacks?

The stress and flashbacks often endured after a large trucking accident means that survivors of serious injury are left to cope with the long-term memories of the situation. This means the potential for a number of triggers to cause significant amounts of fear and anxiety.

When this is severe enough, it can impact how a survivor goes about their life, including whether or not they even drive again out of fear. Sometimes, that fear can lead to the hesitation to go on the road, or for the survivor to break down in terror when a trigger ignites the memory.

For instance, the sound of a collision may be something that not everyone recognizes the moment of the accident. However, because the brain remembers the moment in a different way, the loud bang could be a trigger of what happened and the memories can come rushing back.

This doesn’t even have to stem from another car crash. Anything that is remotely close to a trigger—loud bangs, horns honking, tires screeching—can all be enough to result in the survivor having a flashback.

What Makes Trucking Accidents So Serious?

It’s a very unfortunate situation, but accidents do happen. When these involve large trucks, it’s often more severe because of the large size of the truck and other factors including speed. When you consider the fact that negligence may be involved, it can be difficult to comprehend.

Large trucks, though, can lead to a number of significant injuries for multiple reasons:

  • When a truck driver is negligent, this means they may be driving fatigued, intoxicated, or distracted. There are certain regulations that the truck driver must follow to ensure they are prioritizing their own safety, as well as the safety of others on the road.
  • When a trucking company is negligent, it means they may have failed to properly maintain the truck or they forced the driver to ignore regulations in order to meet certain deadlines.
  • When an employee of the trucking company is negligent, there may be problems with the cargo of the ship, such as a truck that has been overloaded or unevenly loaded, making rollover accidents more likely.
  • Other third parties may be negligent as well. This includes the manufacturer of truck parts if the part is considered to be defective. Situations like this include brake failure, trailer hitch defects, and more.

Unfortunately, even the slightest act of negligence means a truck can cause significant damage to the passengers in the smaller car. And because the truck is so large and these crashes can be so catastrophic, the potential to develop PTSD is quite high.

The Rights of Survivors Suffering from PTSD

Most people are aware of the fact that they may be able to recover damages for the physical injuries they have suffered. However, there is also potential for non-economic damages stemming from emotional trauma that may be suffered.

Post-traumatic stress disorder can impact a survivor’s entire life, and these may be factored in the lawsuit to help hold the negligent party accountable and help the survivor with damages considered for pain and suffering.

Non-economic damages are often considered to help with those that do not have a direct monetary value like loss of enjoyment in life and emotional trauma. If the case does not settle, it is up to the jury to decide how these damages shall be awarded.

When you have a serious situation such as suffering from PTSD, you deserve the right to hold the negligent party accountable and seek compensation for the pain you have endured, as well as future injuries and necessary treatment to help correct the emotional harm. This is why it’s so important to have a strong legal team on your side.

At The Beasley Firm, our Philadelphia truck accident attorneys are well-aware of how serious this type of situation can be. You may be dealing with significant physical injuries, as well as the emotional pain and suffering from the trauma caused during the accident.

We focus on the legal matters so you can focus on your recovery. You’re already dealing with the hardships of the injury. You deserve to have legal advocates you can trust, focused on your best interests, and working to help you reach the outcome you desire.

Our team is dedicated to the rights of those who have sustained significant injury in trucking accidents. If you or someone you love has been catastrophically injured, or if you’re suffering from PTSD as a result of the crash, you may be able to move forward with legal action against the negligent party.

We’ll work hard to determine who is responsible, the direct cause of the accident, what damages you may entitled to, and more. With our experience, knowledge, skill, and resources, you can have peace of mind knowing we’re on your side.

Contact our firm today to discuss your potential case in a free consultation. Our firm is ready to stand by your side every step of the way and seek the most favorable outcome possible on your behalf.

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