After being in a serious car accident, you will likely be overcome with a variety of emotions. For some victims, the overwhelming feeling of anxiety will follow them long after the car accident is over. Dealing with anxiety and other conditions that may result from anxiety can be a difficult process. If you or a family member developed anxiety after a car accident, you should speak with an experienced Philadelphia car accident lawyer. At the Reiff Law Firm, our injury lawyers can help you pursue a claim for anxiety against a negligent driver that injured you. Our lawyers have represented clients in Philadelphia and across Pennsylvania and are ready to represent you. Our lawyers are here to explain how car accidents can cause anxiety.
Risk Factors for Developing Anxiety After a Crash
In the United States, approximately three million people are injured in car crashes every year. Despite the tremendous number of car accidents every year, only a small portion of those people develop anxiety after a car accident. If you are experiencing feelings of anxiety for about three months or more after an accident, it is possible that your anxiety has developed into post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
PTSD is a mental disorder that typically occurs when a person experiences or witnesses a traumatic event, like a serious car accident. There are various risk factors that could lead to a car accident victim developing PTSD:
- Experiencing previous traumatic events
- The car accident caused a life-threatening injury to the victim or a member of their family
- A family member or close friend passing away as a result of the crash
- Having a family history of psychological disorders
- The amount of support received from family and friends after the crash
- Lingering feelings of anxiety from a previous traumatic event
- The feeling of dissociation when the traumatic event occurs
This is not an exhaustive list. There are other factors that may cause you to develop anxiety or PTSD after a car accident. To learn more about the risk factors for developing anxiety, you should speak with an experienced Philadelphia personal injury lawyer.
Signs and Symptoms of PTSD
There are several signs and symptoms of PTSD that you should be aware of. For example, attempting to avoid all reminders of the traumatic event is one symptom of PTSD. Some victims may experience an increased heart rate or feelings of fear when reminded about the car accident. These reminders can vary from a person bringing up the accident to hearing the sound of a car horn honking.
Other victims may feel like they are unable to drive or even sit inside a car. Others who are still able to operate a car may be easily startled or jumpy when driving. Other signs and symptoms of PTSD include:
- Inability to relax or sleep
- Difficulty concentrating
- Being overly watchful of your surroundings even if you are not driving
- Constant feelings of irritability
- Feeling devoid of energy
- Avoiding socializing with family or friends
- Feelings of sadness and depression
If you are experiencing the above symptoms or other intense symptoms of PTSD, you should seek medical attention immediately.
Suing for Anxiety After a Car Accident
If you want to sue for anxiety after a car accident, you should know that you have a limited amount of time to file your case. While anxiety is considered a psychological disorder, it is still under the umbrella of personal injury cases in Pennsylvania. When filing a personal injury lawsuit in Pennsylvania, you have two years from the date of the accident to file your lawsuit. If you do not file your lawsuit within two years, the court may bar your claim and you will have no other avenue to pursue legal compensation.
Pennsylvania also has a “discovery rule” pertaining to personal injury cases. The discovery rule states that if you do not immediately discover your injuries, the statute of limitations will only run from the date you discover or should have discovered your injuries. This may occur with anxiety because the symptoms are not easily noticeable. Therefore, you should seek medical attention and thoroughly document any signs and symptoms of anxiety you may experience.
Work with an Experienced Pennsylvania Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you are experiencing symptoms of anxiety after a car accident, you should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney. At the Reiff Law Firm, our injury attorneys possess over 40 years of legal experience that they will utilize to help you pursue your claim. You should not have to bear the burden of dealing with severe anxiety because of a negligent driver. To schedule a free legal consultation, contact the Reiff Law Firm at (215) 246-9000.