Can You Get PTSD from a Motorcycle Accident?

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A motorcycle accident is one of the most traumatic incidents a rider experiences. Many times, you are blindsided and have no reaction time to prevent a collision. Even when you see an accident, there may be little you can do to avoid it. The outcomes of motorcycle accidents can result in chronic, debilitating injuries. While the physical effects of motorcycle accidents are serious enough, the emotional and mental trauma can be equally devastating. People who undergo such a life-changing event find it nearly impossible to reclaim their previous way of life.

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a real and overwhelming result of motorcycle injury trauma. When the negligent actions of another driver cause you to suffer from PTSD, it’s time to talk with the Mike Morse Law Firm. We are Michigan’s largest personal injury firm, and we know how to handle your motorcycle personal injury case.

What Is PTSD?


Post-traumatic stress is a psychological disorder that is triggered by a traumatic event that an individual experiences or witnesses. PTSD is frequently debilitating because victims tend to exhibit dramatic changes in their emotional and mental states. A specific set of symptoms results from post-traumatic stress disorders, so seeking treatment and getting the correct diagnosis after an accident is imperative.

PTSD is treatable, but the effects may be long-lasting and require therapy and medications for years. An attorney can work with you to identify medical resources, so you get the treatment you need. Your medical journey and subsequent changes to your life will play a significant role in determining damages related to your condition and how it affects your future.

What Are the Symptoms of PTSD?


The signs and symptoms of PTSD after being hit on your motorcycle are frequently wide-ranging and life-altering. These are problems you may encounter due to aftereffects of the event:

  • High anxiety levels
  • Panic attacks
  • Flashbacks
  • Persistent dreams about the incident
  • Emotional outbursts
  • Difficulty with social engagement (avoidance)
  • Depressive tendencies

These are some of the serious issues that result but are not the only ones. People react to impactful situations in different ways. Stress can prompt additional problems that lead to a deepening cycle of mental health concerns. Your lawyer needs to know if any of these symptoms are present due to the crash. Emotional suffering from PTSD is a serious outcome of motorcycle accidents and qualifies for compensation under the law.

What Are the Effects of PTSD?


PTSD affects over 11 million people in the U.S. Many of those individuals have been involved in traumatic incidents. PTSD after a motorcycle accident has some definitive characteristics that can be used to prove that your injury was the direct result of the responsible party’s actions. These are three prevalent issues related to trauma:

  1. Change in cognition: Severe stress makes the brain function differently than it did previously. There are noticeable changes in a person’s actions and interactions.
  2. Shift in personality: Simple matters can make people respond in ways they didn’t before an accident. They could have unusual responses, such as sadness, rage, terror, guilt and shame, not in keeping with their personality. 
  3. Increase in fear-based reactions: Fight or flight mode may kick in regularly with people living with PTSD. Any incident that triggers a similar emotional response to an origin event can raise protection instincts that are visible and, often, irrational given the circumstances.

If you are dealing with these issues, it is essential to get the treatment you need. You shouldn’t have to continue to suffer and have your life disrupted without having your case heard.

How Can You Recover Damages for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?


In Michigan, you can recover non-economic damages for PTSD. Non-economic damages cover intangible losses, such as pain and suffering after a motorcycle accident. The point of a damage recovery is to make a person whole. This is why it’s critical to have an attorney who knows what types of damages you qualify for based on your current state and future prognosis and fights to get the necessary compensatory damages that meet your circumstances.

What Determines Whether You Qualify for Non-Economic Damages?


Non-economic damages are decided by many factors that your personal injury attorney knows well. While every state has specific laws garnering the possibilities for non-economic recovery, these are some guidelines that generally apply:

  • The type of injury
  • The severity of the injury
  • The expected duration of the injury
  • The impact the injury has on life and wellness
  • The damage the injury has on quality of life

While Michigan law allows for recovery of non-economic damages for pain and suffering, proving that emotional trauma happened as a direct result of a motorcycle accident can be tricky. If you have been in another serious accident or had a history of emotional trauma or PTSD, a defendant’s lawyers will undoubtedly raise these issues if relevant to their case. A skilled attorney prepares for many scenarios, so your rights are protected no matter what information is brought to light. However, it’s essential to be forthright about possible issues so your attorney can present the best case.

Why Does Fault Matter in Michigan Personal Injury Cases?


In 2020, there were 992 motorcycle injuries per 100,000 registered motorcycles. Many motorcycles are struck because people are not paying attention or not taking care when riders are present. Yet it still can be challenging to establish fault due to complications of car and motorcycle collisions. To win a personal injury case, you must prove negligent actions by a defendant were the direct cause of your injury, which is why fault is a critical component of your case.

Every state has regulations for how it handles fault in accidents. Michigan is a state that uses modified comparative fault, where your damage amount is reduced by the percentage you are at fault in an accident. Michigan also has a 51% rule, so if you are more than 50% responsible for your injury, you cannot recover non-economic damages. You need an attorney to stand up for your rights when fault is being decided in your motorcycle injury case.

What Is Michigan’s Statute of Limitations?


Michigan allows plaintiffs three years to file a personal injury case. If you have PTSD, it can take time to learn the extent and seriousness of your condition. It is important to work with an attorney as soon as possible to establish the lasting effects of your emotional and psychological injury.

Talk With a Michigan Attorney About Your Motorcycle Accident Case


At Mike Morse Law Firm, we have experienced and caring motorcycle accident attorneys who are here to help after a motorcycle accident. We understand how much accident injuries change lives. Directly after an accident, you will hear from insurance companies trying to settle your claim quickly. It is not a good idea to talk with insurers that only have their interests in mind. It’s best to consult with an attorney to receive the help you need.

If you have PTSD, you may need significant financial resources to get through the years ahead. You don’t want to lose out on compensation to help you get back to the things that matter in life. We offer a free case review, so you can find out whether you have a case. There are no fees unless we win. Contact us to started.

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