Post Accident PTSD: What to Look For After a Georgia Car Accident

man suffering from PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is a mental health disorder that is triggered by a dangerous or shocking event, including Georgia car accidents.  PTSD is commonly associated with military veterans returning from war, but military members are not the only ones who can suffer from PTSD. Anyone can experience PTSD after a traumatic event.

About 8% of Americans suffer from PTSD at least once during their lives. Motor vehicle accidents are the most common cause of PTSD in the general population but any traumatic accident can cause PTSD. Those directly involved in the accident and those who witnessed the accident can develop PTSD.

If you or a loved one has experienced or witnessed an accident, you should be aware of the signs of PTSD and know what to do if they develop.

Signs of Post-Accident PTSD

It could be days, weeks, or even months after an accident before symptoms of PTSD become apparent. The following are some of the common signs and symptoms of PTSD following an accident:

  • Unexpected or recurring flashbacks of the accident.
  • No memory of certain parts of the accident.
  • Nightmares or other sleeping difficulties.
  • Difficulty concentrating.
  • Avoidance of reminders of the event, for example, avoiding driving after a car accident.
  • Avoidance of feelings related to the accident.
  • Negative mood changes such as decreased interest in hobbies and leisure activities, as well as overly negative thoughts about self and others.
  • Persistent feeling of being on edge.
  • Emotional outbursts.
  • Being easily startled, e.g., jumping when a loud noise is heard.
  • Physical manifestations of stress such as hair loss, fragile nails, headaches, weight loss, and neck and should aches.
  • Panic attacks.
  • Physical of arousal such as higher heart rate, sweating, and shortness of breath when at rest.
  • Substance abuse.

PTSD does not require all of these signs and symptoms to be present and can manifest in other ways as well. PTSD shows up differently in different people.

What to Do for Post-Accident PTSD

If you or a loved one are experiencing any signs of PTSD, you should seek medical treatment immediately. Contact a mental health professional directly or make an appointment with your primary care physician who can refer you to the appropriate mental health care professional. If immediate help is needed, call the 24/7 Georgia Crisis Hotline at (800) 715-4225. Whomever you reach out to, do it as soon as possible. PTSD is a very treatable disorder but can have devastating consequences if left untreated.

You should also tell your Georgia accident attorney if your PTSD symptoms are present or if there has been a PTSD diagnosis. The cost of PTSD care and treatment may be recoverable as part of damages in your personal injury case, but your attorney has to know about it to help you receive the compensation you are entitled too.

At Williams | Elleby, we understand that the mental suffering caused by traumatic accidents can continue long after the accident itself is over.  Georgia law allows PTSD victims to recover for their pain and suffering and Williams Elleby works hart to ensure that those impacted by accidents are fully compensated. If you or a loved one has been in an accident in Georgia, call (833) LEGALGA to schedule a free consultation with our team.

Can You Still Bring a Lawsuit in Georgia if You Have No Memory of Your Car Accident

female patient memory loss after car accident

For the survivors of a traumatic car accident in Georgia, the memories of the event can haunt them for years to come. However, when a crash involves a head injury, it can often render a victim unconscious. Unconscious head injury victims may suffer permanent health consequences. Even with less severe injuries, the victim may have little to no recollection of the accident or the immediate aftermath. But the lack of memory relating to the crash will not prevent you from filing a lawsuit.

The Right to File Suit

If you suffered injuries in a Georgia car accident that was caused by someone else, you have the right to seek financial compensation from the responsible driver. This is the case even if you do not remember the collision. In fact, your attorney could put on a winning case at trial without you remembering anything about the crash.

In a typical negligence case, the testimony of the injury victim plays a central role at trial. However, if you are unable to remember the crash, there is often other evidence available. If the crash was recorded by street cameras or security video, the tape of the crash could be powerful evidence. Independent eyewitnesses are also an important part of any trial. In some cases, a witness could testify if the other driver made incriminating statements or admitted fault for the crash.

The physical evidence at the scene can play a major part in establishing liability. Accident reconstruction experts can review the scene of the crash and determine exactly where the vehicles were before they came to rest. It is hard to pursue claims when you don’t remember the accident but recovery is possible with the right legal counsel by your side.

Time Limit to File Suit

Every lawsuit in Georgia must be filed within statute of limitations. The statue of limitations is the mandatory deadline for the filing of a lawsuit. Compliance with the statute is important because the court has the power to dismiss a lawsuit if it was filed after the deadline expires.

Most personal injury lawsuits resulting from a car accident must be filed within two years of the crash. This deadline is especially critical if you lack any memory of the accident because your attorney will need additional time to investigate your claim.

How a Georgia Car Accident Lawyer Can Help

The more information about an accident you can provide, the better your chance of recovering compensation will be. However, assisting in your own claim can be challenging if you are unable to remember anything. In this situation, having the help of an experienced Georgia car accident attorney can go a long way in building a winning case. If you are ready to proceed with your injury claim, call an attorney at Williams Elleby to schedule a free consultation by dialing (833) LEGALGA.  At your free consultation, you can discuss your concerns about your memory and ask questions about how our firm would approach your case.

How to Keep You and Your Family Safe as Georgia Nights Grow Longer

Georgia Family Safety During Fall Time Change

Keeping your family safe as Georgia nights grow longer is an important goal for every parent.   On November 3, 2019, we will move our clocks back and daylight will be reduced by an hour all at once.  The days will continue to get shorter until December 21st, which will be the shortest day of the year in Georgia.

The short days and long nights can be a drag.  It’s natural to feel more tired and less motivated.  These longer nights also bring some increased dangers.  Follow this advice to stay safe during the longer winter nights.

Night Driving

Shorter days mean more night driving.  Very few people love driving at night, and for good reason.  Visibility is more difficult and darkness cues your body to feel more tired. Only 25% of driving is done at night, but 50% of driving deaths occur at night.  The good news is there are things you can do to decrease your risk of being in a car accident at night. 

The following are some tips for safer night driving:

  • Clean your windshield regularly to avoid blinding or vision-impairing glare.
  • Don’t drive when you are tired or after you have been drinking.
  • Take an Uber or another rideshare if you have any doubt about your capacity to drive.
  • Avoid distractions like talking on the phone, eating, or looking for items while driving.
  • Check that all of your car lights are in good repair.
  • Replace your windshield wipers so you don’t smear your windshield and create vision problems when it rains.
  • Keep an eye out for wildlife which you can sometimes spot by the reflection in their eyes.
  • Don’t stare directly into oncoming lights.
  • Dim your dashboard lights.
  • Wear your glasses if you need them.

Leaving and Returning in the Dark

Short days mean you’ll be leaving and returning home in the dark more often. The darkness makes it easier for a criminal to sneak up on you and get away before you or someone else can identify them.

The following are a few tips to help you stay safe when you are coming and going from an apartment or business in the dark:

  • Be aware of your surroundings; don’t look at your phone or use headphones when walking around your apartment complex.
  • Don’t sit in your car for long periods.
  • Always lock your car and apartment doors.
  • Park in well-lit areas.
  • Walk to and from your car in well-lit areas.
  • Get to know your neighbors and watch out for each other.
  • Report suspicious activity around your apartment to the police.
  • Avoid businesses with dark parking lots.

In addition to following these best practices, you should immediately report any dangerous conditions at your apartment complex to your property owner or manager.  For example, if lightbulbs are out in the parking lot, report it. If the guard gate to your apartment complex is broken, report it.  If you’ve heard about an increase in criminal activity at your apartment complex, report it. 

Premises liability law requires that property managers and owners take reasonable steps to remove dangerous conditions that they know about on their property,  If they fail to adequately respond to a safety issue, they may be liable if a crime that occurs.  For example, after a shooting in the Brookhaven complex in Atlanta, Georgia, a lawsuit was brought against the property management company because they failed to fix a gate that had been broken for a long period of time.

Walking at Night

With shorter days, there’s a greater likelihood that you and your family members will be walking at night. You might go on family walks for exercise, to get the dogs out of the house,  or just to get some fresh air.  The reduced visibility at night can increase the likelihood of tripping and falling, being hit by a car, or becoming the victim of a crime, but don’t let fear deter you. If you are cautious, walking after dark can be both safe and fun.

The following are some tips for walking safely at night:

  • Wear light or reflective clothing so you are more visible.
  • Know your route and avoid areas with a reputation for being dangerous.
  • Stay alert and watch where you are walking.
  • Don’t use headphones or play on your phone.
  • Bring a flashlight or use a headlamp.
  • Tell someone where you are going and check-in with them when you arrive.
  • Stay in well-lit areas.
  • Walk with others or a pet when possible.
  • Walk with confidence.
  • Cross the street or change your path if you see someone suspicious.
  • Do not make aggressive comments towards other people or drivers.
  • Call the local police if you see a crime or suspicious activity.

If you’ve suffered a personal injury in Georgia, whether at night or during the day, the attorneys at Williams Elleby would be happy to meet with you to help you understand your legal rights and options. Call us at 833-LEGALGA to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys.