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Smith McBroom - Seattle Wrongful Death Attorneys

Seattle Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Lawyers

Compassionate advocacy for PTSD victims in Washington state

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is often caused by traumatic events. Many personal injury victims need long-term psychological help. At Smith McBroom, we have the experience and resources to hold negligent drivers, irresponsible schools and youth organizations, physicians, and others accountable for injuries that cause long-term physical and emotional harm. Our Seattle PTSD lawyers are here to help. Contact us today.

Free Case Evaluation

Call 206-677-5941 now or fill out the form above to receive a free, confidential consultation.

What is post-traumatic stress disorder?

The National Institute of Mental Health defines post-traumatic stress disorder as “a disorder that develops in some people who have experienced a shocking, scary, or dangerous event.” People who experience trauma generally stop experiencing fear and other related symptoms within days or weeks.

Patients who continue to experience fears in response to an accident or an assault may be diagnosed with PTSD. PTSD is a lifetime disorder that is categorized as a catastrophic injury.

According to the National Center for PTSD, nearly six percent of people are likely to suffer PTSD during their lives. Women are more likely to have post-traumatic stress disorder than men.

What types of accidents can lead to PTSD?

Any accident can lead to PTSD. Among the more common are:

Certain injuries such as traumatic brain injuries, loss of limb, and severe burns are also known causes of PTSD.

What are the signs and symptoms of PTSD?

The National Institute of Mental Health states that PTSD often starts within the first three months of a traumatic event – but adds that PTSD can develop much later. To be diagnosed with PTSD, an adult must have symptoms that are severe enough to affect his or her work, relationships, and daily life for at least one month. Those symptoms are categorized in the following ways:

  • Symptoms that are strong enough to affect the victim’s daily life, work, and relationships.
  • Other causes, such as substance abuse, which are unrelated to PTSD.
  • There must be at least one reoccurring symptom and one avoidance symptom.
  • There must be at least two “arousal and reactivity symptoms” and at least two “cognition and mood symptoms.”

Reoccurring symptoms (at least one required for diagnosis):

  • Flashbacks
  • Recurring dreams or memories of the event
  • Physical symptoms such as heart problems or sweating
  • Distressing thoughts

Avoidance symptoms (at least one required for diagnosis):

  • Avoiding places, objects, or events that remind victims of the traumatic event
  • Avoiding thinking about the event or any feelings related to the event

Arousal and reactivity symptoms (at least two required for diagnosis):

  • Being tense or on edge
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Being startled easily
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Irritability and anger
  • Destructive or risky behavior

Cognition and mood symptoms (at least two required for diagnosis):

  • Difficulty remembering the traumatic event
  • Negative thoughts and emotions, such as anger, guilt, fear, and shame
  • An inability to enjoy activities
  • Social isolation
  • Difficulty being happy or satisfied
  • “Exaggerated feelings of blame directed toward oneself or others”

According to the Mayo Clinic, other PTSD symptoms include:

  • Difficulty keeping close relationships
  • Feeling emotionally numb
  • Hopelessness
  • Always being on guard
  • Suicidal thoughts

Young children may experience or exhibit different symptoms. They may wet their bed even though they’ve learned to use the toilet, cannot talk, be “unusually clingy with a parent” or another adult, and/or act out the event. Older children may exhibit similar symptoms to adults. They may also exhibit “disruptive, disrespectful, or destructive behaviors.”

What are the treatments for Seattle PTSD victims?

At Smith McBroom, we work with psychiatrists, psychologists, rape counselors, and other mental health counselors. The National Institute of Mental Health states that the following treatments may be helpful:

  • Psychotherapy. This treatment involves talking with a mental health professional. Psychologists can help Seattle personal injury victims identify their fears, thoughts, and behaviors. This treatment can involve a one-on-one relationship between the doctor and the patient. Psychotherapy can also involve group sessions.
  • Exposure therapy. This treatment helps accident and assault victims by “gradually exposing them, in a safe way, to the trauma they experienced. As part of exposure therapy, people may think or write about the trauma or visit the place where it happened.”
  • Cognitive restructuring. This treatment helps patients come to some understanding about the traumatic event to help patients manage any guilt or shame they have.
  • Medications. The NIMH states that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved:

Two selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), a type of antidepressant medication, for the treatment of PTSD. SSRIs may help manage PTSD symptoms such as sadness, worry, anger, and feeling emotionally numb. Healthcare providers may prescribe SSRIs and other medications along with psychotherapy. Some medications may help treat specific PTSD symptoms, such as sleep problems and nightmares.

Who is responsible for an accident victim’s PTSD?

At Smith McBroom, we represent accident and assault victims who suffer from PTSD. We’re skilled at showing how your accident or assault happened, who is responsible, and that your injuries such as PTSD are due to the accident or assault. The responsible parties may include:

  • Car, truck, and motorcycle drivers
  • The employers of anyone who causes an accident or an assault
  • The people and entities who commit sexual assault or had a duty to stop the sexual assault.
  • Individuals who physically assault anyone, and property owners who are liable for negligent security
  • Physicians and hospitals that cause birth injuries or other types of medical malpractice injuries
  • Nursing homes
  • Other defendants

How much is my Seattle PTSD claim worth?

Our Seattle PTSD lawyers demand compensation for all your current and future:

  • Medical expenses, including the cost of physical care and psychological care
  • Lost income and benefits if you can’t work due to PTSD or other injuries
  • Physical pain
  • Emotional suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

We also seek punitive damages for egregious acts such as sexual assaults and driving while intoxicated.

Do you have a Seattle PTSD lawyer near me?

At Smith McBroom, our Seattle personal injury lawyers meet post-traumatic stress disorder victims and family members at our office at 16400 Southcenter Parkway Suite 210. If you’re too anxious or uncomfortable to meet at our office, we do conduct consultations by phone and through video conferences. We’ll answer your questions and calmly and clearly guide you through the claims process.

Talk with our Seattle PTSD attorneys now

At Smith McBroom, we understand that for some accident and assault victims, while the physical wounds may heal, the psychological wounds can last a lifetime. Our Seattle PTSD lawyers are respected by former clients, insurance companies, and the legal community for our ability to show who is responsible for long-term injuries, and how much compensation the victims deserve. We help Washington accident victims live their best lives possible when they suffer from PTSD due to the fault of others. To schedule a free consultation with our seasoned Seattle personal injury lawyers, call us or complete our contact form. We’re ready to assert your rights.