Traffic accidents cause a lot of serious harm and financial hardship, both for victims and their families. Getting treatment for physical injuries is of immediate importance. However, many injured victims may need ongoing medical help if they also suffered mild to severe post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Learn more about PTSD in a Tennessee car crash claim, including what it is, when you may include these damages in an injury claim, and why it is difficult to prove.
The Knoxville auto crash attorneys at Greg Coleman Law are here to help if you were injured by another’s negligence. Call our law offices to learn more. There is no cost or obligation to find out if you have a valid case.
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Can You Sue for PTSD After a Car Crash?
Yes, a victim suffering from PTSD after a car crash may be eligible to include these damages in a lawsuit. Car crash survivors may often suffer from varying degrees of PTSD. For some victims, the symptoms may only be mild and short-lived. However, for others, the symptoms may be severe and long-lasting, interfering with both home and work life. Without medical treatment, victims may not fully recover and may continue to struggle with PTSD and other emotional damages.
To successfully sue for PTSD, or any other economic or noneconomic damages, the plaintiff must first establish the defendant’s negligence for the car crash. The plaintiff must also provide evidence of his or her PTSD and show that the collision was at least partly responsible.
If successful, in addition to receiving economic damages for any physical injuries, a victim could also receive compensation for PTSD and other noneconomic damages to pay for:
- The cost of medical care, including counseling
- Prescription drugs which may be necessary
- Lost wages while the victim is unable to work
- Anxiety, distress and other emotional suffering
Hiring an attorney may benefit your legal claim to help establish negligence for the crash. You will also need evidence of your PTSD and any other emotional damages.
What is PTSD?
PTSD is a mental health condition affecting people who have suffered one or more traumatic experiences. While there is no physical evidence of an injury, the psychological damage is real and can lead to several ongoing issues, including:
- The onset of nightmares, flashbacks or other internal reminders of the accident
- Avoidance of any events that the victim relates to the original trauma
- Progressive emotional instability leading to sudden outbursts of anger, fear or frustration
- An altered state of anxiety causing a physical reaction to the fear of possible threats
- Development of physical symptoms, such as extreme sweating, increased heart rate or blood pressure
- Extreme mood or behavior changes, such as depression or engaging in high-risk behaviors
Proving PTSD is Difficult
Unfortunately, the burden of proof falls on the victim or his or her attorney. With no visible damages, proving PTSD is challenging. However, a qualified attorney should know what evidence may help, such as:
A Medical Diagnosis of PTSD
Seeking medical care, both to get the help you need and to get a medical diagnosis is an important step in your recovery. Since a doctor will also document your medical appointments, diagnosis and recommended care, it can significantly help your claim. This is yet another reason why continuing medical care and discussing your symptoms with your doctor is so important.
Documenting Your PTSD
Keeping a record of your flashbacks, nightmares and physical symptoms (increased heart rate, etc.) can also help strengthen your claim. The longer you have documented evidence of your symptoms, the stronger your claim. It is important as you document these symptoms to be completely honest. Never risk hurting your claim by either downplaying or exaggerating what you are experiencing.
Testimony From a Mental Health Expert
A mental health expert can testify more about how the trauma of your car crash likely led to your diagnosis of PKSD. This expert could also explain other relevant facts about your PTSD, such as:
- The specific PTSD symptoms you are experiencing
- The causal link between those symptoms and your car crash
- Details of how your life has been negatively altered by your PTSD
- Explaining your long-term prognosis for recovering from PTSD
Eyewitnesses Who Can Help
In addition to a mental health expert, people who interact with you every day can testify about how you have changed since the car crash. These individuals could include co-workers, family members and friends who have witnessed your mood changes, flashbacks and other symptoms.
Call Our Firm for Trusted Legal Assistance
If you suffered injuries in a traumatic car crash and are also suffering from PTSD, our team of qualified attorneys is prepared to help. We are ready to bring extensive experience to your claim, along with a proven success record, recovering millions for our clients.
At Greg Coleman Law, you are more than just another client. Our team of legal professionals is ready to work tirelessly on your behalf to recover the maximum amount of compensation. Call today to set up your free initial case review and learn more about your legal options.
A Law Firm You Can Trust. (865) 247-0080