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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger

The Hidden Dangers of Riding: Can You Get PTSD from a Motorcycle Accident?

Motorcycle accidents not only result in physical injuries but can also lead to a lesser-known consequence: post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

With millions of registered motorcycles in the US, riders face serious risks, such as head trauma and bone fractures, in the event of a crash. However, up to 28 percent of drivers involved in severe motor vehicle accidents, including motorcycle collisions, experience PTSD.

This mental health condition can significantly impact a person's quality of life, including depression and anxiety. Recognizing PTSD symptoms and seeking guidance from a health professional is crucial for the well-being of accident victims. Schuerger Shunnarah can advise on what the 12 second rule on a motorcycle is.

Understanding Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Following Motorcycle Accidents

Understanding Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Following Motorcycle Accidents

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental condition that may develop in people who have experienced a shocking or frightening event, such as a motorcycle accident. While it is common for a person to feel fear or stress during a traumatic event, prolonged symptoms indicate the possibility of PTSD.

These symptoms can include flashbacks, nightmares, difficulty sleeping, heightened anxiety, and avoiding reminders of the accident. If left untreated, PTSD can lead to severe depression and have a detrimental impact on a person's daily life.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) outlines the criteria for PTSD diagnosis, which include persistently re-experiencing the event, avoidance of triggers, feelings of isolation, hypervigilance, and aggressive behavior.

To be considered PTSD, these symptoms must last for over a month and cause significant disruption to the individual's work and social life.

Victims of motorcycle wrecks who suspect they may have developed PTSD are encouraged to seek help from a mental health professional. Timely intervention is essential to minimize the long-term effects of PTSD on a person's everyday life.

Can You Get PTSD from a Motorcycle Accident?

The possibility of developing PTSD after a motorcycle accident is a significant concern for accident victims and their families. Studies indicate that this disorder is not uncommon following traumatic events, including motorcycle crashes.

Moreover, various factors, such as the severity of the accident, previous trauma history, and the individual's psychological predisposition, can influence the risk of developing this disorder.

Motorcycle wrecks can be particularly traumatic due to the exposed nature of the rider and the potential for severe injuries. Studies estimate that approximately 25% of riders who sustain injuries in motor vehicle accidents develop some degree of PTSD.

Not only can the riders and passengers involved in a motorcycle crash be at risk, but witnesses, emergency personnel, and even family members confronted with the aftermath of the accident can also be affected.

Symptoms of PTSD after a Motorcycle Accident

Several factors can contribute to the likelihood of developing PTSD after a motorcycle accident. These may include the level of dissociation experienced during or after the accident, the intensity of emotions, previous trauma history, lack of social support, perceived life threats, and existing psychological adjustment problems.

In many cases, the perception of life endangerment during the accident serves as the strongest predictor of this disorder's symptoms in the months following the event.

People who develop PTSD after a motorcycle accident may experience various symptoms, including flashbacks, nightmares, difficulty sleeping, suppression of memories, and increased anxiety.

Additionally, these symptoms can significantly impact the individual's daily life, work, and relationships, making it essential to seek professional help if PTSD is suspected.

Seeking Help for PTSD after a Motorcycle Accident

It is crucial to recognize the signs of this disorder in oneself or loved ones who have experienced a motorcycle accident. Early intervention can help alleviate the symptoms and improve the individual's overall well-being.

Mental health professionals can provide proper diagnosis and treatment, helping accident victims cope with the lingering effects of the traumatic event. Schuerger Shunnarah can help answer questions like, "What are the odds of surviving a motorcycle accident?"

The Impact of PTSD on Motorcycle Crash Settlements

Post-traumatic stress disorder can significantly affect the settlement process for the victim after a motorcycle accident. It can lead to various challenges, such as the inability to work, a strain on personal relationships, and the need for ongoing therapy and medical treatment.

These consequences may be taken into consideration when determining the compensation for the individual affected by the motorcycle crash.

A formal diagnosis from a medical professional is necessary to establish a claim for PTSD-related damages. The victim may need to see a mental health care provider or psychiatrist for further evaluation.

Documentation of the PTSD diagnosis and treatment, such as medical records, will be crucial in supporting the claim for compensation.

Economic and Non-economic Damages in PTSD Settlements

When calculating the settlement amount, authorities consider both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages could include the cost of PTSD treatment, lost wages, and reduced earning potential due to the disorder.

Non-economic damages, on the other hand, might include mental anguish, emotional distress, and the loss of enjoyment of life. In cases where PTSD results from a serious motorcycle accident, victims may seek compensation for both types of damages.

The Difficulty of Proving Motorcycle Accidents Caused PTSD

Proving that the motorcycle accident directly caused the individual's PTSD can be challenging, especially since symptoms can take time to develop. Also, in most cases, the symptoms of this disorder can become evident within three to six months following the accident.

However, the symptoms may sometimes surface even later, making it difficult to develop a causal link. Seeking professional help when PTSD is suspected can be crucial in building a strong case for compensation.

A Lawyer's Role in a Motorcycle Accident Case

A Lawyer's Role in a Motorcycle Accident Case

After a motorcycle accident, the traumatic event can leave victims with severe injuries, PTSD, or other consequences.

A skilled motorcycle accident lawyer in Houston can provide invaluable guidance and support, helping clients navigate the complexities of a motorcycle accident claim.

Their expertise includes personal injury lawsuits, insurance claims, and handling the specifics of a motorcycle accident case, even if it involves a fatal crash.

A lawyer can help victims by:

  • Investigating the accident to establish liability,

  • Collecting evidence of losses,

  • Calculating fair compensation,

  • Communicating with insurance adjusters, and

  • Representing clients in court when necessary.

By working with a competent motorcycle accident lawyer, victims can focus on their recovery while their legal representative handles the intricacies of their case.


PTSD from a motorcycle wreck can be a devastating consequence of an accident, leading to serious injury and long-term effects. Victims who develop PTSD or suffer motorcycle accident injuries should consider pursuing a personal injury lawsuit or insurance claim.

Don't wait; contact Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys for a free consultation to explore the available legal options.


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