Not all cart accident injuries are physical, and children are just as susceptible to PTSD as adults. If your child’s behavior changes after the accident, it could mean your child has PTSD or post traumatic stress disorder. PTSD symptoms can vary from one person to another, but they may include flashbacks, nightmares, negative thinking, jitteriness or anxiety.
PTSD symptoms in children can be hard to diagnose, especially in children who are too young to talk about their feelings. Even older children may have a hard time explaining what they are experiencing. But without help, PTSD can affect your child for life. A good mental health professional can help your child overcome the psychological effects of an accident.
What is PTSD?
PTSD is a mental health condition caused by a traumatic event. It is common among war veterans, who may “relive” the horrors of combat long after they have returned home. But any traumatic event can cause PTSD, including assaults and car accidents. Both children and adults can experience PTSD, but their symptoms may be different.
How do I know if my child has PTSD?
There are three major symptoms that children with PTSD may have. Your child may have all three, or only one of them:
- Intrusive memories, or flashbacks. Your child may relive the accident long after it happens. These flashbacks may happen at night, causing nightmares. Or they may happen in the daytime, especially if something happens to trigger the memory. For example, driving through the intersection where the accident occurred can cause a flashback. Flashbacks can lead to physical symptoms like shakiness, cold sweats or a racing heart.
- Avoiding certain situations. Your child may avoid doing anything that might remind him or her of the accident. Some children “block out” the accident entirely, convincing themselves it never happened. Others may avoid people or places connected to the accident. Panic attacks, anxiety and phobias can develop.
- Hyper-responsiveness. A child may become overly active, irritable, restless or sleepless. A child may also have a hard time concentrating or have sudden angry outbursts.
If your child has symptoms of PTSD, it is important to see a trained mental health professional. Getting help for your child’s PTSD now can help prevent it from becoming a lifelong limitation.
Will the other driver’s insurance pay for my child’s PTSD treatment?
In many cases, yes. Under Georgia law, all costs of an accident are paid by the insurance of the at-fault driver. This includes physical injuries and all their consequences, plus vehicle damage. If your child is physically injured and also suffers from mental health conditions like PTSD or depression, auto insurance should pay for treatment for both. However, because insurance covers the physical effects of a car accident, there is usually no coverage if the only injury was an emotional one.
There are two ways to increase the chance of insurance coverage for your child’s mental health treatment:
- See a doctor right away after the accident. Even if you don’t think your child was badly hurt, go to the emergency room or your pediatrician and get fully checked out. If a doctor evaluates and treats your child’s physical injuries – even minor ones – the physical injury means your child’s PTSD treatment can be covered as well. But if you “tough it out” and don’t see a doctor, you won’t be able to show there was a physical injury, and there won’t be coverage for mental health problems either.
- Make an appointment with a car accident lawyer.A good lawyer can help you find the right doctors to diagnose your child’s PTSD and other injuries and predict the kind of care they will need over time. A lawyer can also negotiate with the insurers to get you a fair amount of money, and a lawyer can handle Atlanta, Georgia car accident lawsuits. Seeing a lawyer can make a major difference in the amount of money you will receive to pay for both physical and mental health care.
See an Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer for Free
Our law firm makes it easy to afford a lawyer – we don’t charge you a thing unless we win money for you. We have been making a difference in the lives of accident victims for decades. Let our experienced lawyers explain how we can help you and your family. Call us at (404) 341-6555 or fill out the form to the right to get your free consultation today.