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PTSD Auto Accident Damages in North Carolina


Most folks realize the tremendous physical injuries that can be caused by serious automobile crashes, but fail to realize that there can also be serious psychological impact. A high speed motor vehicle collision can be a tragic, terrifying event. Along with military action and personal assault, car accidents and tractor-trailer wrecks are some of the most common causes of Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD). PTSD Auto Accident damages are available if they can be proven.

PTSD Auto Accident PTSD is defined by a set of characteristic symptoms that follow a traumatic event during which the patient is threatened with or actually sustains direct serious physical injury or death. It can also be caused by the patient witnessing another person sustaining serious physical injury or death. The patient’s response to the event “must involve intense fear, helplessness, or horror.” Conduct symptomatic of PTSD involves:

  • Continued re-experiencing of the traumatic event (e.g. car wreck);
  • Continued avoidance of stimuli associated with the trauma (e.g. avoiding riding in a vehicle) and numbing of general responsiveness; and
  • Persistent symptoms of arousal (e.g. fear).

To be diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome, the patient’s symptoms must be present for more than one month. The disturbance to the person must cause significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.

It is common that patients with PTSD make “deliberate efforts to avoid thoughts, feelings, or conversations about the traumatic event” and to “avoid activities, situations, or people who arouse recollection of it.” When it comes to automobile crashes, this often means that the injury victim seeks to avoid the circumstances in which the collision occurred. For example, an individual who was struck while crossing the street as a pedestrian may choose to avoid crossing the street. A person injured while sitting in the passenger seat may refuse to ride as a passenger and only want to drive him or herself.

The Raleigh lawyers at Maginnis Law are experienced in helping North Carolinians recover fair compensation both for their physical injuries and psychological injuries, including PTSD auto accident claims. To discuss your North Carolina personal injury case involving PTSD, please contact Maginnis Law attorney T. Shawn Howard at 919.480.8526 or feel free to email questions directly here.