Someone You Loved Was Wrongfully Killed in a Car Accident: Can You Sue for PTSD?

Charlotte Miller


Driving a car always brings with it a certain risk that is often heightened in bigger cities. For example, car accidents in places like Denver are often more devastating because there are more people who might get involved. A multi-car pileup on Denver freeways is likely to cause a serious range of injuries and even multiple deaths that could transform entire families. 

For example, it’s common for loved ones to develop PTSD after losing a loved one in a car accident. However, these individuals might not realize that there are legal resources they can take to get help. In fact, it’s possible to sue whoever is possible for the deaths if they caused your PTSD. Doing so requires preparing for a lengthy trial and working with a skilled lawyer.

The Devastating Impact of Deaths in Auto Accidents 

Car accidents are some of the most troubling and destructive personal injury types in the world. The sheer speed of cars, their power, and a vehicle’s materials (like glass and metal) make deaths in auto crashes a much higher risk than normal. Tragically, many people lose their lives on the road every year, often at the prime of their lives, and leave behind grieving loved ones. 

For example, just about everyone who gets injured or killed in a car accident is likely to have family or friends who will miss them. The emotional turmoil from a crash of any scope is often catastrophic and can spread wildly from that impact moment. The instance someone’s bad driving causes the deaths of others, dozens of lives are going to be changed forever.

Even if you weren’t involved in the accident that took your loved one’s life, you’re likely to suffer from some emotional issues. For example, it’s not uncommon for people to develop heavy PTSD after losing a loved one in an accident. This painful situation can cause a lot of difficulties in your life and may make it hard for you to transition to life after losing your loved one.

PTSD is a Common and Painful Side Effect 

Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is a common emotional reaction to losing a loved one. Even if you didn’t see it happen or weren’t in the car when the accident occurred, the death of a loved one is a heavy emotional burden. It can cause a series of severe symptoms that can transform your emotional balance and make life difficult, including:

  • Anxiety: It’s common for people to dwell heavily on the death of their loved one after it happens. This might cause excessive anxiety as they try to figure out how they’ll live life without their loved ones. As a result, they might struggle to take care of their day-to-day duties.
  • Depression: Death is such a frightening and scary situation, a permanent end to a life. People who lose their lives suddenly often have a lot to live for or many years ahead. As a result, PTSD from this death can linger in their family and friends for a very long time.
  • Suicidal Thoughts: It’s a tragic situation, but many people with PTSD start developing real suicidal thoughts after losing their loved ones. This problem can cause a ripple effect where multiple people end up either contemplating or committing suicide after an accident.
  • Flashbacks: How can you have flashbacks to a death you weren’t involved in or might not have seen? Well, you might flash back to the moment that you learned of the death or even have nightmares about it for months that plague you and upset your emotional health.
  • Anger Issues: It’s not uncommon for people to get furious with PTSD and to take it out on others. They might feel helpless to get real legal recourse and act out, potentially getting into legal trouble themselves if they hurt others or even the person responsible.
  • Denial: After losing a loved one, it’s not uncommon to fall into a severe state of denial. Many people try to act as if it didn’t happen or move on from it by denying its existence. That step is more likely to cause emotional devastation when the death finally hits a person mentally.

The tragic thing about PTSD is that many people don’t take it seriously even if they suffer extreme emotional problems. That’s because it can seem easy to just wave off your struggles when people believe you should just “get over it” after some time. Many people even treat themselves poorly as a result and ignore getting treatment for their PTSD.

Here’s the thing about PTSD after a death caused by another person: legal recourse may be possible. That’s because you suffered as a result of someone’s actions and can, theoretically, get compensation for it. It’s important to know how you can prepare for this case to ensure that you get the best results in Denver or anywhere else in Colorado.

Legal Support for Those With PTSD After a Death in an Accident

After a loved one dies in a car accident, it’s easy to feel trapped and unable to get help. However, you can sue someone who causes your emotional injury, including someone who wrongfully kills your loved one in an accident. Even if you weren’t in the car, you can sue because their actions caused you severe emotional problems and PTSD. 

You need to prove that your loved one’s death triggered your PTSD by getting a doctor’s diagnosis saying just that. It should highlight that your emotional suffering began after your loved one died. Your PTSD can’t have been brought upon by any other emotional issues in your life, such as genetically triggered depression that might cause PTSD-like symptoms.

When seeking legal help  for this kind of case, it’s important to do what you can to find someone with experience in your type of lawsuit. A professional who fully understands the complexities of crash law, including liability, is critical for your case. You should also find someone who can provide emotional support with empathetic and caring legal help. Denver locals like Hailey Covelli, Reese Jachetta, and Justin McBride among many others gave their expertise on who to seek out in a place the Mile High City, and they recommend Ross Ziev P.C. at Legal Help in Colorado. Looking at reviews for lawyers like we did for Denver is a great way to determine who is the best choice for lawyer.

Get the Support You Deserve

If you’ve lost a loved one due to a car accident or another personal injury, you deserve compensation for your PTSD. By working with your doctor and getting properly diagnosed, you can build a strong case against the person who caused the accident. It’s not necessarily an automatic win, but if you can prove you suffered as a result of their actions, you have a good shot.

It’s important to research different legal teams in Colorado that understand this type of case and to get them to help you in whatever ways that they can. Doing so helps to streamline your lawsuit and gives you a better chance of winning. Do your research, and you should find someone who is willing to fight for your rights after losing someone in an auto crash.