Can I Be Compensated If I Get PTSD After a Car Accident?
Brian White | March 8, 2019 | Auto Accidents
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can arise after any serious accident or event. PTSD is a psychiatric disorder that arises after living through or witnessing a trauma. PTSD can have various symptoms on the sufferer, including anxiety attacks, flashbacks, depression, and nightmares.
If you suffered from PTSD after a car accident in Houston, you may be eligible to seek financial compensation for your noneconomic damages. Speak to a car collision attorney in Houston for more information.
PTSD as a Compensable Car Accident Damage
Civil laws in Texas permit car accident victims and surviving loved ones to seek financial damages from at-fault parties through insurance claims and personal injury lawsuits. These damages can include economic losses such as property repairs, medical bills, and lost wages. They may include noneconomic damages, like physical pain and suffering, emotional distress, and mental anguish as well. PTSD is a type of noneconomic damage for which a crash survivor may seek damages in Texas.
The person who caused your car accident could owe you financial compensation for your PTSD. This real, compensable noneconomic damage may have had a substantial impact on your life. If you or your attorney can prove to a judge or jury that the car accident gave you PTSD and that the defendant is responsible for causing the crash, the defendant may owe you compensation for your psychiatric disorder and any related medical costs or emotional distress.
Do You Have PTSD?
Before you can demand compensation for PTSD after a car accident in Houston, you must receive a professional diagnosis. Not all crash victims will experience PTSD. What you experienced during the accident, as well as how you perceive the crash in the aftermath, can determine your likelihood of developing this disorder. Many factors could indicate the possibility of experiencing PTSD after a car accident.
- Severe or life-threatening personal injuries
- Seeing someone die in the accident
- Unexpectedly losing a loved one
- Suffering a permanent physical disability
- A history of mental disorders, depression, or anxiety
- A history of substance abuse
Studies show that women are about twice as likely to develop PTSD as men. You may have PTSD if you notice feelings of anxiety, fear, depression, or isolation after a traumatic car accident. If you are afraid to get behind the wheel again, or if you experience involuntary memories of the collision, you may also have PTSD. See a doctor as soon as possible about your condition. Then, contact an attorney.
How to Prove PTSD in Houston
If you believe you should receive financial compensation for your PTSD following a traumatic car accident, your lawyer will need to prove that the condition exists. Your lawyer will need supporting testimony from an expert, such as a therapist who specializes in post-traumatic stress disorder. An expert witness can make a subject such as car-accident related PTSD more understandable for a jury, and give a professional opinion on whether you have the condition.
Medical documentation supporting your serious injuries and PTSD symptoms can also strengthen your case. Establishing PTSD may take showing that you exhibited certain necessary symptoms for a diagnosis. The more credible your key witnesses, the stronger your case. It is your lawyer’s goal to prove that you have PTSD and to convince the judge or jury that you developed your disorder because of the traumatic events in the car accident.
What Is Your Case Worth?
It can be difficult to put a numeric value on post-traumatic stress disorder. Most attorneys and insurance claims adjusters will calculate this noneconomic damage by multiplying the number of economic damages by a number from one to five that corresponds to how severe the PTSD has affected the victim. If, for example, you lost your job because of PTSD and are too afraid to drive, your lawyer may multiply your economic damages by a multiplier of three. Your lawyer will then show the defendant the desired amount in a demand letter, after which negotiations may begin.