Articles Posted in PTSD

How Injuries Cause Trauma and PTSD

How Injuries Cause Trauma and PTSD
How Injuries Cause Trauma and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

I’m Ed Smith, a Roseville Auto Accident Attorney. In a lawsuit for personal injury, lawyers may ask a jury to award damages to the plaintiff for emotional trauma, in addition to their physical injury.

Invisible Wounds

Invisible Wounds

Invisible Wounds

I’m Ed Smith, an Elk Grove Brain Injury Lawyer. Raising awareness to a condition referred to by some as an invisible wound is a positive way to help those suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or traumatic brain injuries (TBI). Invisible wounds are widespread and we would like to encourage you to attend the following event:

Psychological Injuries Without Physical Injuries

Psychological Injuries Without Physical Injuries

Psychological Injuries Without Physical Injuries

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento car accident lawyer. The harm that follows from a personal injury accident is not always physical in nature. Psychological injuries can be just as devastating to an injury victim as physical injuries, yet the two are often not treated the same in a personal injury lawsuit. Judges and juries have no trouble awarding compensation for injury victims with only physical injuries: broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, and disfigurement, for example (so long, of course, that the injury victim meets his or her burden in proving the elements of a personal injury lawsuit). Where physical injuries exist, most judges and juries are inclined to believe that the victim suffered some measure of psychological harm. Judges and juries will award “pain and suffering,” believing that even a simple fracture or bump on the head is likely to result in some mental pain.

brainpicClosed head injuries, also known as traumatic brain injuries, are not so easily seen following an auto or motorcycle accident.  But they are very common, and very hazardous if not diagnosed and treated properly.  I have represented many clients with these types of injuries over the years and they can have a substantial effect on one’s life and ability to function.

The symptoms that characterize post concussion syndrome may emerge at varying intervals following head trauma. All caregivers (which may include investigating police officers and citizens who have stopped to give assistance) may be able to observe the demeanor of the victim at some particular point in the evolution of the syndrome. Even a relatively unsophisticated observer arriving at the scene of the accident shortly after its occurrence may have made potentially valuable observations.

Ambulance attendants generally perform what is, in essence, a brief mental status examination of victims suspected to have been even transiently unconscious. Attendants may be able to estimate the duration of post-traumatic amnesia (PTA) or the occurrence of  a traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Tinnitus — a chronic condition of ringing or other sounds in the ears, the symptoms of which can range from annoying to disabling — can arise from a variety of causes, including hearing loss from noise exposure, infections, reactions to drugs, and spontaneously from unknown causes. Once significant category is tinnitus from neck and head injuries.tinnitus from neck and head injuries

A study of tinnitus sufferers pubished in 2003 found that more than 12% reported tinnitus from neck and head injuries, with a third of these patients reporting their symptoms arose after neck injuries (such as “whiplash” type hyperextension/hyperflexion injuries) alone. The remainder had experienced either head injuries or a combination of head and neck injuries. The study also found that tinnitus from neck and head injuries tends to be significantly more severe than tinnitus from other causes.

Due to the tinnitus from neck and head injuries tending to be more severe, the study also found that patients with history of trauma tended to seek and receive treatment sooner than those patients whose symptoms arose more gradually or from less clear causes.

gasolineExploding underground gasoline tanks can cause catastrophic personal injury and property damage. When this occurs, a lawsuit against the responsible party can be brought under one of the four most common theories:

  • Negligence
  • Strict Liability

anxiety
It may be the sound – the deafening, horrifying crash.  Or it could be the feeling of helplessness as you see an out-of-control vehicle careening toward yours and being unable to get out of its way.  Perhaps it is the terror that assaults you during the seconds before you realize that your children in the back seat are uninjured.  Auto accidents can cause psychological wounds that can be as painful as physical injuries.  Sometimes they can impair a victim’s ability to drive, or even ride in a car for a period of time.  Often they interrupt sleep with nightmares.  Some people cannot stop ruminating over what happened or what could have happened – the frightening images replay over and over in their heads.  It is common for people who have been involved in an automobile collision to experience similar feelings, especially in the days immediately following the event.  However, if the psychological symptoms linger for weeks or months, or they interfere with the person’s regular habits, it may be a case of post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD).

Most of us have heard of PTSD with regard to war veterans or abuse survivors.  Car accident victims may downplay the emotional effects thinking that their event was not “traumatic enough” to cause PTSD.  But that is not the case. PTSD following an automobile collision may manifest itself through the following:

Chronic unease and anxiety

Most dog bite attack victims suffer from lifelong psychological injury, including emotional trauma, Post Traumatic Stress and a fear of dogs. Even after a dog bite victim’s physical injuries have healed, emotional scarring can last a very long time. Each time a victim takes a walk through a park, walks down a sidewalk, strolls the beach or visits a dog owner’s home, the trauma from a dog bite can return.

Depression, shock and anxiety often plague a dog bite victim’s normal life effecting their well being, relationships, school and work. Children are particularly prone to developing post traumatic stress after a dog bite. Some of the symptoms of post traumatic stress include distressing memories of the event including flashbacks and dreams, avoidance, changes in mood such as feeling hopeless, and changes in their emotional reactions such as feeling irritable, angry or easily startled. Difficulty concentrating and trouble sleeping also tend to be problematic for a victim of a dog bite. More information about post traumatic stress can be found at the Mayo Clinic.

Additionally, a fear of dogs poses a major challenge to a dog bite victim. Even if a victim was a dog lover before the attack, he or she no longer feels comfortable around dogs. Typically, after an attack, a dog bite victim will feel anxious and have difficulty enjoying dogs companionship as usual. More information about dog phobia can be found here.

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As reported by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, most people who are bitten by a dog require medical attention. Whether you were bitten at a park, in your neighborhood or while at someone’s home, it is critical that you know your rights.  Under California law, the owner of the dog is responsible for the damages to the victim who was bitten by a dog. Unfortunately, most dog bite victims are a family member, friend or a neighbor. Dog bite victims often worry about how they will be compensated because they don’t want their friend or family member to have to pay out of their pocket. There is no reason to worry. In California, if you were attacked or bitten by a dog, there are several possibilities of who will pay for your damages:

Homeowners Insurance:

In most cases, the dog’s owner’s homeowner’s or renter’s insurance will cover the damages resulting from a dog bite attack. If there is homeowner’s or renter’s insurance, there also might be “medical payments” coverage that will pay for your medical bills.

As a holistic personal injury lawyer, I see literally hundreds of people each month suffering from the physical and emotional after-effects of trauma.

Bessel van der Kolk MD, is a psychiatrist who has treated traumatic injuries for decades and is a well known author of several very readable books on PTSD and the effect of severe trauma on the injured person and their families.

I’m very pleased to recommend Dr. van der Kolk’s newly published book entitled: