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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger II

Can You Get PTSD from a Motorcycle Accident?

According to the US Department of Veterans Affairs National Center for PTSD, about 5% of the country's population (5 in every 100 people) experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in a given year, with an estimated 13 million Americans suffering from PTSD in 2020 alone.


Traumatic events like motorcycle accidents can trigger PTSD and completely disrupt one's life. Personal injury attorneys at Schuerger Shunnarah have extensive experience pursuing claims and lawsuits for motorcycle accident victims dealing with PTSD due to another's negligence.


Those who are suffering from PTSD after a motorcycle accident in Nashville, Tennessee, must contact Schuerger Shunnarah immediately to discuss their case and learn about their legal rights.


Can You Get PTSD from a Motorcycle Accident?

Can You Get PTSD from a Motorcycle Accident?


According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcycle accident injuries can range from severe to fatal. Victims can develop PTSD after serious motor vehicle accidents, including motorcycle crashes, as a result of their injuries or the traumatic event.


What Are the Symptoms of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder?


Although it is natural to feel shaken up or traumatized after a motorcycle accident, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIHM), motorcycle accident victims may experience PTSD symptoms for weeks, months, or even longer. These may include the following:

  • Nightmares

  • Traumatic flashbacks

  • Increased fear

  • Depression

  • Insomnia

  • Mood swings

  • Inability to focus

  • General anxiety

Medline Plus states that post-traumatic stress disorder can keep the victims from riding their motorcycles ever again. It can affect their daily routine, from career to family life and more.


If a motorcycle accident victim is unable to ride themselves to work or pick up and drop kids to and from school, the lack of independence can cause a financial strain.


Many motorcycle accident victims fail to receive medical treatment or therapy for their PTSD. They believe their symptoms will eventually improve, but in most cases, it leads to further complications, such as severe depression.


Those suffering from any of the symptoms mentioned above following their motorcycle crash should immediately reach out to a doctor for a medical evaluation.


The medical professional can help provide medications, connect the victim with a psychotherapist or a mental health professional, or provide other forms of treatment.


Can PTSD Cause Physical Injuries?


According to many studies, including "Post-traumatic Stress Disorder: The Neurobiological Impact of Psychological Trauma" by Jonathan E. Sherin and Charles B. Nemeroff in 2011, emotional trauma or PTSD following a serious motorcycle accident can cause physical injuries or damage to the victim.

Neuropathologists have shown the negative impact of PTSD on the brain, particularly on the amygdala, hippocampus, and prefrontal cortex, and how it can lead to bodily harm.


How Long Does It Take for a Victim to Develop PTSD after a Motorcycle Accident?


PTSD can develop after a motorcycle accident, but the timing of its onset may vary from person to person. In some cases, victims may experience symptoms immediately, while in others, it could take days, weeks, or even months to develop. It's not uncommon for an injured motorcyclist to exhibit signs of PTSD years after the accident.


Furthermore, not everyone experiences the same degree of PTSD as others, with some victims only suffering from one or two signs of PTSD after their motorcycle accident, while others may exhibit a full range of symptoms.


Who Can Suffer from PTSD after a Motorcycle Accident?


It's not just the motorcycle operators who are susceptible to developing PTSD after their crash but other parties too, including:

  • Injured or uninjured motorcycle passengers who are involved in the accident

  • Bystanders or emergency personnel who assisted the victims injured or killed in motorcycle accidents

  • Drivers and passengers of other motor vehicles

  • Family members who see their loved ones injured or killed in a motorcycle crash

Can Motorcycle Accident Victims File a Claim for Their PTSD?


PTSD from a motorcycle accident can cause a dent in the victim's bank account. The accumulating medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages can slowly deplete their financial resources, further leading to stress, which can aggravate their symptoms.


Fortunately, under personal injury law, injured victims may be able to pursue claims or lawsuits if they suffered injuries, including PTSD and emotional trauma, in an accident due to another's negligence. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can answer questions like, "What are the different types of motorcycle accidents?"


What Types of Damages Can Victims with PTSD Recover after Their Motorcycle Crash?


Victims experiencing PTSD after a motorcycle crash can recover the following types of damages in a claim or a lawsuit:


Economic Damages


These are often out-of-pocket expenses incurred after an accident and include the following:

  • Medical bills: Some examples of medical expenses include hospital bills, prescription medication costs, and therapy and rehabilitation fees, among many others.

  • Lost wages: PTSD can affect a victim's ability to go to work for a few days, weeks, or even months. In some cases, they may never return to their job. Lost wages include all current and previous loss of income and future earning capacity.

  • Property damage: If the motorcycle crash caused damage to the motorbike, victims may be able to recover the repair or replacement costs when pursuing a claim.

Non-economic Damages


These types of damages compensate victims for the non-economic losses they incur, including mental anguish, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and emotional distress, among others.


The damages one can recover after an accident varies case by case. It is crucial for injured victims to reach out to experienced motorcycle accident attorneys to help evaluate and calculate the damages incurred.


How a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Can Help?

How a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Can Help?


Although injured victims may be able to pursue a personal injury lawsuit or a claim against the negligent party to obtain compensation, it can be challenging. It's best for them to take some rest, undergo medical treatment for their PTSD, and reach out to an experienced lawyer to help them with their motorcycle accident claim or lawsuit.


Personal injury attorneys at Schuerger Shunnarah have worked with victims suffering from PTSD and know the challenges they face when pursuing claims. Their motorcycle accident lawyer can help injured victims by:

  • Investigating the motorcycle accident

  • Gathering evidence to determine the liable party and establishing negligence

  • Calculating the economic and non-economic damages incurred

  • Bringing in expert witnesses to prove that the motorcycle wreck caused the PTSD

  • Preparing the paperwork and filing a motorcycle accident claim

  • Following all legal procedures to ensure compliance

  • Handling the insurance company to negotiate a fair settlement

  • Representing injured victims in a trial

Suffering from PTSD? Contact Schuerger Shunnarah for a Free Consultation!


PTSD from a motorcycle accident or a traumatic event can be life-threatening. It's unfair for the victim to bear the consequences of a motorcycle accident caused by another's negligence.


Those experiencing PTSD after a crash in Nashville, Tennessee, can schedule a free consultation to discuss their motorcycle accident case with experienced trial attorneys at Schuerger Shunnarah.

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