Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that can develop in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event. PTSD can occur after experiencing a single traumatic event or a series of events that are deeply distressing. One event that can lead to a person developing PTSD is a commercial truck accident.
The trucking industry plays a strong role in Ohio’s economy, and it’s important to understand the connection between PTSD and truck accidents. Ohio is home to a variety of commercial trucking companies, including Roehl Transport, Kaplan Trucking, Swift Transportation, Tesla Logistics, Dick Lavy Trucking, and XPO Logistics. These companies are vital to our economy, providing jobs to our citizens and transporting goods within the state and throughout the company.
However, this influx of trucks on our roads can also increase the risk of truck accidents. According to the Ohio Department of Public Safety, 20,219 heavy trucks were involved in accidents in Ohio in 2022.
Commercial truck accidents can cause life-altering injuries to the victims – injuries typically more serious than passenger car accidents. Car occupants can experience injuries like traumatic brain injuries, burns, or spinal cord injuries. In the most tragic cases, truck accidents can be fatal, leaving families behind to deal with the wrongful death of a loved one.
What is post-traumatic stress disorder?
Physical injuries are the most common and visible result of a commercial truck accident. However, the psychological effects can be just as significant. Often, people who have been involved in a traumatic event – like a serious truck accident – can experience symptoms of PTSD.
Symptoms of PTSD can include:
- Intrusion, including intrusive thoughts or flashbacks of the traumatic event. Flashbacks can be vivid enough that the person feels they are constantly reliving the event.
- Avoidance, which can include avoiding people, places, and situations that trigger distressing memories.
- Alterations in cognition and mood, which can lead to an “inability to remember important aspects of the traumatic event, negative thoughts and feelings leading to ongoing and distorted beliefs about oneself or others
- Alterations in arousal and reactivity, including “being overly watchful of one’s surroundings in a suspecting way; being easily startled; or having problems concentrating or sleeping.
For a person to be diagnosed with PTSD, these symptoms must last for at least a month and must cause significant problems in a person’s day-to-day life.
The effect of PTSD on truck accident victims can’t be understated – it can be severe and disabling. Persons with PTSD can struggle with the aftermath of the accident, affecting work, relationships, and quality of life. PTSD can also cause physical symptoms, like headaches, chronic pain, or digestive problems. It can also lead to other mental health conditions like depression and anxiety.
It’s also important to remember that post-traumatic stress disorder can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, or background. However, certain factors can raise the risk of developing PTSD, including:
- The severity of the trauma
- Victim’s proximity to the event
- Victims’ level of emotional support after the event
Are there treatment options for PTSD?
Yes, per the Mayo Clinic, there are several treatment options available for those with post-traumatic stress disorder. They state the most effective treatment is a combination of therapy and medication:
- Therapy can help people with PTSD process their emotions and learn coping skills to manage their symptoms. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a common form of therapy used to treat PTSD, which focuses on changing negative thought patterns and behaviors.
- Medication can also be effective in treating PTSD symptoms, such as anxiety and depression. Antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications are commonly prescribed for people with PTSD.
- In addition to therapy and medication, self-care practices such as exercise, healthy eating, and stress reduction techniques can also help manage symptoms.
What is the value of my PTSD truck accident case?
If you (or a loved one) have been involved in a Columbus commercial truck accident and are experiencing PTSD or other injuries, consider seeking legal help. Your attorney can help you understand your legal rights for seeking compensation for your injuries and mental trauma.
Here in Ohio, victims of truck accidents caused by negligence are entitled to file for compensation for their medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. However, if you’re coping with the effects of PTSD, this entire process can be terribly overwhelming and our lawyers understand.
We will guide you through the legal process with confidence and help you build a strong case, working with experts and medical professionals to document the effect PTSD is having on your life. Remember, however, that Ohio has a statute of limitations for filing personal injury claims, which is two years. The sooner you get in touch with an attorney, the sooner we can start pursuing compensation.
It’s also important to prioritize your mental health and seek treatment for your PTSD. This can help you manage your symptoms correctly and begin to improve your overall quality of life as you move forward with your lawsuit.
If you or a loved one have been involved in a commercial truck accident and are suffering from PTSD, talk to an experienced lawyer today. At Soroka & Associates, our Columbus attorneys can help you seek compensation for your injuries and damages. We work to hold negligent truck drivers and trucking companies responsible when they cause accidents that result in PTSD and other harm. To schedule a free case evaluation, just call our offices or submit our contact form today.