A motorcycle accident is a serious and unnerving event for even the most seasoned rider. The speed, suddenness, and violence of an accident is jarring to a motorcycle rider both physically and mentally.
A wide range of studies over years has indicated that more accident survivors than you might imagine end up suffering long-term emotional distress after their motorcycle accidents, such as anxiety, depression or PTSD, or phobias – even when there are no lasting physical injuries involved.
As a long-time Pennsylvania motorcycle accident lawyer, this doesn’t particularly surprise me. I’ve seen the emotional toll even a relatively minor crash can take over the course of my career.
I understand how devastating these emotional effects can be, even if there don’t appear to be lasting physical injuries.
The stress, anxiety, and mental anguish that are the tangential results of a personal injury can sometimes be considered a compensable personal injury themselves, depending on the nature of the injury, and on a medical diagnosis.
Motorcycle accident “pain and suffering” is the term for the types of damages I seek to recover for my clients in these cases.
Proving Mental and Emotional Injuries
The post-accident anxiety and distress often takes the fun out of riding and in some cases, depending on the severity of the injury, I have had clients never get back on their bike.
Because frequently no outward indications of injury (broken bones, bruises, road rash) accompany it, proving you’re suffering mental or emotional anguish can be difficult.
We typically go about this by asking the client’s psychiatrist, psychologist, or therapist to provide testimony.
Insurance providers tend to accept mental and emotional injury claims only if the claim seems proportionate to any physical injuries, and to the severity of the accident.
Seek Psychological Therapy As Soon As You Realize the Problem
If your mental anguish claim seems out of proportion with your physical injuries it might hurt your credibility; which is why it is important to have a medical professional testify as to the effects it has had on your life.
As with any medical treatment after a crash, keep your receipts for medication and bills for therapy, and if you are too depressed or anxious to work, be sure to document that as well.
If you claim that you are too scared to get back on the road, have significantly reduced appetite, aren’t sleeping, and/or have crying jags, but don’t have proof that you have sought treatment, insurers and juries will not take your claim seriously.
So, my advice as a Pennsylvania motorcycle lawyer is to factor in the possibility of PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) or anxiety up front when you’ve been in an accident, and to get evaluated by a mental health professional as soon as possible.
How Mental and Emotional Injuries Affect Your Damages
While most claims for mental and emotional injuries don’t play much of a role in determining your damages, relatively severe claims can definitely increase medical bill and lost wages awards enough to make pursuing this line of attack worthwhile.
After all, if your PTSD or anxiety is the result of your accident, you will definitely spend money to treat it, and therefore you have the right to be compensated for those losses.
If you end up on anti-anxiety medication or antidepressants, those costs can add up quickly.
The most important thing to remember is that your emotional health is just as important as your physical health.
As bikers, we like to imagine that we’re a bunch of bad asses who live up to our reputation for toughness. In fact, even tough guys get PTSD, especially after being involved in something as frightening and disruptive as a motorcycle accident.
There is no more shame in seeking mental health treatment than there would be for having a doctor set a broken bone, and seeking that help could have a real effect on the amount of your compensation.
For more information about how anxiety, stress, PTSD, and other mental and emotional injuries can affect your case, call Pennsylvania motorcycle accident lawyer Lee Gaber, Esquire at 1-888-292-5352, for a free consultation.
Motorcycle Accident Compensation Claim for PTSD
A properly prepared Pennsylvania motorcycle accident compensation claim will recover damages for injuries both to the body and the psyche.
In my years of practice as a motorcycle accident attorney working with clients on motorcycle accident compensation claims, I have seen many cases where post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is involved in the compensation package.
What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?
Post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is diagnosed when troubling psychological symptoms from an event persist for more than one month after the occurrence.
Before post traumatic stress disorder was well understood, it was referenced by other names such as “shell shock”, to describe the distress exhibited by soldiers returning from a war who had been in traumatic wartime situations and who had lingering emotional troubles.
What are the Symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?
Post traumatic stress disorder is characterized by symptoms such as:
- shock, and
The circumstances of a motorcycle accident may include serious injury and vehicles colliding with great speed and force, altering lives in an instant.
Someone who is suffering from post traumatic stress disorder might play the crash over and over again in their mind – unable to turn it off. There may be guilt and remorse about how they acted, whether it is justified or not.
Recovering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
A motorcycle accident compensation claim is an effective way to obtain the needed financial means to get treatment for post traumatic stress disorder. Improvement may be gradual, but with psychotherapy and medication, people find relief from their symptoms and transition back to a normal life.
As your motorcycle accident lawyer, Pennsylvania injury lawyer, Lee D. Gaber, Esquire will include as much psychological treatment as needed into your motorcycle accident settlement request.
For help with a motorcycle accident compensation claim for post traumatic stress disorder, call motorcycle attorney Lee D. Gaber, at 888-292-5352 (888-CYCLE-LAW). I am interested in hearing your story.
Getting Back on Your Bike After a Motorcycle Crash
When motorcycle crashes suspend your ability to get out on a bike, it’s more than just transportation; it’s a way of life that you are missing.
Any motorcycle rider knows that the experience of riding a motorcycle has more to it than what meets the eye.
Getting Outside – The Experience of Riding
Traveling on a motorcycle allows a much closer connection to the outside world than an enclosed vehicle. We get to experience the sights and sounds that you would miss driving around in a car or truck. The feeling of quick acceleration, power and speed that is part of the motorcycle experience is one that riders don’t forget.
We often take this for granted until a motorcycle crash doesn’t allow us to ride for a time, or ever again.
Be assured that I understand the trauma riders go through after motorcycle crashes, and the concerns that they may have about how soon they can get back on the bike.
While I can’t do much to speed your medical recovery process, I can help to lessen your stress about your motorcycle accident settlement and getting back out onto the road.
My law firm has filed thousands of Pennsylvania motorcycle actions; if you have questions about the basic process, please reference my motorcycle lawyers FAQ or give me a call.
Rely on the Motorcycle Community
We ride both solo and in groups, but either way we are part of a larger group of riders that share the love of riding – and know the fun and excitement of the riding experience.
In addition to riding, the whole experience of being a part of this brotherhood from the planning of rides, the relaxation of getting out and experiencing a route, and the celebration afterwards makes riding a motorcycle so enjoyable.
People who don’t ride probably have no understanding of what it means to be part of this community and to enjoy a life that includes motorcycle riding, but I certainly do, and I will use all my expertise to help you return to where you need to be – on the road.