Victims of motor vehicle accidents face an increased risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to a research article available on the National Institute of Health website. PTSD isn’t the only risk factor associated with motorcycle accidents, either. Motorcyclists are less protected than other drivers on the road – meaning they oftentimes suffer from severe physical injuries after accidents.
What Is PTSD?
PTSD is an anxiety disorder that’s initially triggered by a terrifying event or experience. The condition disproportionately impacts veterans – experiencing combat oftentimes traumatizes soldiers.
PTSD isn’t limited to veterans, though. Intense events, like a motorcycle accident, can cause PTSD to emerge in civilians, as well.
PTSD has a wide range of symptoms including intrusive memories, avoidance, depression, and suicidal ideation.
Intrusive memories involve:
- Nightmares about the motorcycle accident you experienced
- Recurring memories about the event that are difficult to ignore
- Intense anxiety in response to triggers – occurrences that remind you of the crash
Avoidance is tied directly to the event that caused your PTSD. With this type of symptom, you:
- Do your best to avoid thoughts or memories about the event
- Avoid contexts that remind you of the event – if you were caught in a motorcycle accident you might refuse to get back on your motorcycle
PTSD can cause or contribute to depression, too. These are some common symptoms of depression:
- Emotional numbness
- Trouble with interpersonal relationships
- Detachment from friends and family
- Feeling negative about yourself
- Feeling negative about the world
- Suicidal ideation
Seeing a Doctor
If these symptoms are pervasive and get in the way of you living a balanced life, you should consider contacting a doctor. Similarly, if you’re experiencing suicidal ideation, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline — 1-800-273-8255. Your PTSD symptoms don’t need to rule your life. Life can and will get better after your accident. The sooner you seek medical intervention, the sooner your symptoms will improve.
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What About Medical Bills?
Therapy, medication, and other types of PTSD treatments aren’t free. While health insurance can cover some of your medical costs, you might already be dealing with other expenses, like replacing your motorcycle.
A motorcycle accident insurance claim or lawsuit can help you recover the damages you suffered after your crash. These damages include:
- Medical expenses
- Property damages
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium, a legal term that refers to the loss of a close personal relationship
These damages are broken into two categories, economic, and non-economic. Economic damages cover your financial losses. Non-economic damages account for the emotional trauma that you’ve experienced – including PTSD. With a settlement, you can receive compensation for both your medical costs and the conditions that incurred said costs.
How Do You Claim a Settlement, or Pursue a Lawsuit?
Georgia requires drivers to carry liability insurance. This type of insurance covers the costs of other drivers in an accident, assuming you were at fault. If your motorcycle accident was caused by another driver, though, you can pursue their insurer for a liability insurance claim. The minimum required amount for these policies in Georgia is:
- $25,000 in bodily injury per person
- $50,000 in bodily injury per accident
- $25,000 in property damages per accident
Drivers sometimes carry more than the minimum for liability insurance.
Negotiating With Insurers
To secure an insurance claim you’ll need to negotiate with the at-fault party’s insurer. This process is risky. Insurers oftentimes provide claimants with quick settlement offers. These offers are usually too low to cover all your expenses after an accident. The insurers don’t have your best interests in mind, they want you to settle for as low as possible. Similarly, once you sign off on an insurance settlement, you can’t pursue further compensation.
Other tactics insurers might use to reduce the value of your settlement include:
- Asking you for a recorded statement – they can use these statements to poke holes in the validity of your claim
- Review your social media presence for admissions of fault
- Suggest that you were completely or partially at fault for your motorcycle accident
Can a Lawyer Help With This Process?
An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer will have dealt with insurers. They’ll know which tricks insurers use and be able to identify low-ball settlement offers. They can:
- Investigate the details of your case
- Build your case for a settlement
- Communicate and negotiate with insurers
- Provide answers to your legal questions
- File a lawsuit and represent you in court, if needed
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Time Is of the Essence
Motorcycle accident cases are time-sensitive. Per O.C.G.A. § 9-3-33, you typically have two years after a crash to file a lawsuit. While insurance claims aren’t usually constrained by this deadline, it’s important to get started on your case as soon as you can.
The sooner you start, the more time you or your lawyer will have to build evidence. Motorcycle accident cases hinge on evidence – without it, you can’t make a strong claim for compensation. Similarly, you don’t want to lose out on your chance to file a lawsuit. Lawsuits are useful bargaining chips during insurance negotiations.
Contact a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
At Bader Scott Injury Lawyers, we get it, we know what you’re going through. There’s nothing more frustrating than suffering from PTSD after an accident you didn’t cause. We believe that you deserve a fighting chance. We’ll exhaust every option as we pursue your compensation. We also work on contingency, so our services will cost nothing upfront.
Call our offices for a free case evaluation, today.