Emotional Distress After a Motorcycle Accident
It’s fairly well-known that motorcycle riders are more likely to be seriously injured than car passengers in a collision. And the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NTHSA) most recently reported that “motorcyclists are about 28 times more likely than people in passenger cars to die in a traffic crash.”
History and common sense also tell us that the more serious the injury, the higher the motorcycle accident case settlement.
But when calculating the cost of damages, it’s important not to overlook potential mental and emotional distress caused by a motorcycle crash. This falls under the umbrella of pain and suffering — but what exactly does “suffering” mean?
Motorcycle Accident Victims Can Suffer from PTSD
If you’ve been in a motorcycle collision, you know how terrifying it can be to fly over the handlebars, skid over the pavement, or get pinned beneath a heavy vehicle. The experience qualifies as a trauma. In fact, according to the American Psychological Association,
Trauma is an emotional response to a terrible event like an accident, rape or natural disaster.”
People who have survived a motorcycle accident may experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD. There are many symptoms of PTSD, including:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Excess anger or irritability
- Avoidance of certain places, people, and activities
This trauma survivor talks about dealing with emotional distress after his motorcycle crash:
Accident injury survivors may experience anxiety, with or without a diagnosis of PTSD. Anxiety presents in a number of ways:
- Rapid heart rate
- Vague but intense sense of fear
- Shaking or shivering
- Feeling short of breath
- Tension in the chest
Someone having a severe anxiety spell, or panic attack, can experience these physical symptoms to such a degree that they believe they are having a heart attack and want to visit an emergency room. When coping with an accident survivor who is having a panic attack, even a mild one, it’s important not to tell them it’s “all in their head.”
Depression in Recovery
It’s not unusual for a motorcycle accident victim to experience periods of depression after the crash. Those with serious injuries may need a long time to heal, and some may never recover their original mobility. Brain injuries can add further complications, requiring the survivor to relearn how to do formerly simple things like talk, or eat. It’s not hard to imagine how feelings of hopelessness and despair can become overwhelming.
If you or someone you love has been suffering from any of these conditions, seek help from a mental health professional (and make sure to include those fees in your insurance claim).
Relationships Suffer from Emotional Distress
One of the most difficult struggles after a traumatic accident can be maintaining healthy relationships. Friends and family may not understand what the victim is going through, and despite their best efforts, some do not have what it takes to make it through a long recovery process. Those who are in a caregiving role need to make sure their own needs are met, and may benefit from counseling.
Unfortunately, the path to recovery sometimes also leads to separation, or even divorce. This makes a long-lasting impact on the accident victim’s quality of life. The loss of a caregiver can cause financial, as well as emotional, distress.
If you think you have a case, it’s important to hire an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer who will look at your whole life to demand maximum possible compensation. That’s how we were able to win case settlements that are truly fair and just.