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How PTSD can manifest itself in accident victims

In a prior post, we noted how comedian Tracy Morgan settled his lawsuit with Wal-Mart stemming from the horrific crash last summer that left him severely injured and killed his best friend. We reported that Morgan was pleased that Wal-Mart “stepped up” and compensated him for his injuries. However, he was still emotionally scarred from losing his friend and the slow recovery process he has endured, even a year after the accident.

Morgan reported having his “good days and bad days.” While he did not address it specifically, these up and down days could be indicative of post traumatic stress syndrome. PTSD can haunt a person long after an accident has occurred; especially if it was particularly traumatic (i.e. there was the possibility that the person would be killed, or if someone else died in the crash). 

Of the more than two million people who are injured in an accident, it is estimated that nearly 30 percent will develop long lasting symptoms of PTSD, including depression and anxiety attacks. Essentially, they could have constant flashbacks of the accident, have specific triggers that brink up anxiety or become hopelessly preoccupied with the preciousness of life.

All of these symptoms are important because they could be considered in creating a personal injury damages award. Such an award must take into the person’s ability to earn a living or to enjoy a normal life. We hope that Tracy Morgan continues to get better. In the meantime, those who have suffered traumatic brain injuries in auto accidents can consult an attorney to learn about their rights and options. 

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