Can You Get PTSD from a Motorcycle Accident?

Motorcycle accidents are unfortunately all too common, and they can leave lasting physical and emotional scars. While not everybody suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) indicates that PTSD occurs frequently due to motor vehicle accidents. Unfortunately, the emotional toll on the victims with PTSD can often be insidious and long-lasting.

If you develop PTSD as a result of a motorcycle accident due to someone else’s negligence, you have legal options. A motorcycle accident lawyer from Cesar Ornelas Injury Law will assist you in pursuing a claim for compensation. Learn more about PTSD from a motorcycle accident and the possible compensation for injuries. 

young man with PTSD repairing motorcycle in repair shop.

PTSD and Motorcycle Accidents Connection

Motorcycle accidents can be particularly traumatic events. When individuals are involved in such accidents, they often experience a range of symptoms, including:

  • Fear
  • Impaired memory
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Shock
  • Self-destructive behaviors
  • Helplessness
  • Flashbacks
  • Nightmares
  • Severe anxiety
  • Avoidance behaviors
  • Trouble focusing
  • Mood swings or irritability 
  • Substance abuse

These symptoms indicate how motorcycle accidents have a deliberating impact on the victims. Check out the connection between motorcycle accidents and PTSD:

Witnessing or Experiencing Trauma

Motorcycle accidents combine high-speed impacts and minimal protection for riders. As a result, such accidents are often violent and can result in severe injuries or fatalities. Individuals involved in these accidents usually witness or directly experience traumatic events, such as fatal collisions, severe injuries, or the loss of a loved one.

For instance, witnessing the loss of a fellow motorcyclist’s life or limb in an accident can have a profound impact on survivors. Witnessing or experiencing such life-altering events can trigger PTSD

Flashbacks and Intrusive Thoughts

PTSD is characterized by intrusive thoughts and flashbacks related to the traumatic event. For motorcycle accident survivors, these intrusive thoughts may involve reliving the accident, seeing it happen again in their minds, or experiencing nightmares.

Physical Injuries

Motorcycle accidents often result in significant physical injuries. When victims sustain injuries that are painful, debilitating, or disfiguring, the traumatic experience is compounded. The connection between physical trauma and emotional distress can lead to the development of PTSD.

Confronting Own Mortality

Motorcycle accidents often bring individuals face-to-face with their own mortality in an instant. As said earlier, in many other types of accidents, motorcyclists have little to no protective barriers between themselves and the external environment. This vulnerability amplifies the perception of danger and the realization that life can be extremely fragile. Confronting the possibility of death is a deeply traumatic experience that can possibly lead to PTSD. 

Impact on Daily Life

PTSD can significantly affect a person’s daily life, including their ability to work, maintain relationships, and enjoy activities they once loved. Motorcycle accident survivors may find it challenging to return to their previous routines due to the emotional toll of the accident. This further may amplify their emotional trauma, leading to PTSD. 

How PTSD Affects Your Life

PTSD, as described by the American Psych­iatric Associ­ation, has a lasting and profound impact on the lives of those affected. Here are the key areas that are significantly impacted by PTSD:


Problems at Work

Post-tr­aumatic stress disorder (PTSD) greatly affects a person’s ability to function well in a professional setting. Flash­backs, night­mares, and intense anxiety usually cause diffic­ulties with concent­ration, memory reten­tion, and an exagg­erated startle response. These challenges make it hard to focus on tasks, meet deadl­ines, or maintain steady employment.

Additi­onally, indiv­iduals with PTSD exper­ience strained intera­ctions with colle­agues and superv­isors. They may exhibit increased irrita­bility, withd­rawal, or emotional detac­hment, making effective collaboration and commun­ication challenging. This can result in conflicts and a sense of isolation in the workplace.

Relationship Challenges

PTSD victims often struggle in their personal relationships with family, friends, and romantic partners. They may become emoti­onally distant, avoiding conversations about their trauma or shutting down emotio­nally.

Intimate relati­onships also bear the brunt, with symptoms like hypervi­gilance and emotional detac­hment inter­fering with sexual intimacy and emotional conne­ction. Partners may find it challenging to deal with behavioral changes, leading to conflicts.

Mental Health Problems

The emotional toll of PTSD can lead to intense feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and despair. Also, nightmares and flashbacks can exacerbate anxiety and trigger panic attacks. 

In addition, those suffering from PTSD experience insomnia or nightmares, further impacting their mental health. Health conditions like heart disease and gastrointestinal problems are also common in people who get PTSD from motorcycle accidents. This is majorly attributable to chronic stress related to PTSD.

Compensation for PTSD Resulting from Motorcycle Accidents

If you suffer PTSD resulting from a motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation through legal avenues. However, you must prove that the other driver was negligent, and as a result, they caused an accident that resulted in your injuries. The negligent party is held responsible for the damages inflicted upon you. 

You can pursue compensation for damages such as:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost earnings
  • Therapy sessions
  • Medications (both current and future)
  • Hospital stays 
  • Rehabilitation
  • Emotional and mental distress
  • Psychological evaluation

Navigating the Texas legal system, specifically handling the intricacies of personal injury law, can be challenging. As such, it is in your best interests to consult with a motorcycle accident attorney in Texas to help you navigate the process of seeking compensation for your suffering.

A motorcycle accident lawyer will assist you by:

  • Gathering evidence
  • Evaluating the strength of your case and assessing the evidence to determine the potential value of your claim
  • Developing a legal strategy tailored to your specific case
  • Assessing the impact of PTSD on your life and future prospects
  • Negotiating with insurance companies or in court

Appropriate compensation is key to alleviating the financial burdens related to medical PTSD. Most importantly, it helps in gaining a sense of justice for the emotional distress you endured after the motorcycle accident.

Call an El Paso Motorcycle Accident Attorney

If you are seeking compensation for your injuries after you get PTSD from a motorcycle accident, you can get compensation as provided by the law. However, don’t do it alone, as proving PTSD can be difficult as opposed to other physical injuries. At Cesar Ornelas Injury Law, our legal team is ready to protect your rights and give you the legal support you need. Contact us now and take the first step towards securing the compensation you deserve.


If you or a loved one has been seriously injured, please fill out the form below for your free consultation or call us at: (855) 930-1149

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