How You Can Recover Compensation for PTSD After A Car Accident

Man Slumping On Table Going Through Emotional Trauma
Madeleine Jones
August 24, 2020

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is not usually associated with car accidents or injuries. A lot of people actually associate it with military service members. They come back home from battling overseas and have difficulty dealing with what they saw and experienced. Actually, military members are not the only ones suffering from PTSD. Victims of auto accidents also suffer from this condition. PTSD is considered an injury in a personal injury claim. With the help from the experienced lawyers at Cogburn Law, you could be eligible to recover compensation for experiencing PTSD after a traumatic accident.

Man with PTSD after an accident

What is PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)?

PTSD stands for post-traumatic stress disorder and is a psychological disorder than happens when someone goes through or sees a life-threatening event. Like we mentioned before, it is usually associated with military service members. But, it can also be associated with people who have been victims of natural disasters, car accidents, and sexual and/or physical assault.

After experiencing a traumatic accident like a car accident, many people have nightmares, suffer from anxiety, and can be triggered by everyday normal events. Usually, they have a difficult time going back to their normal lives. These symptoms can go away after a month. However, if a person experiences them for over a couple of months, they might be experiencing PTSD.

What Are The Most Common Symptoms Of PTSD?

The most common PTSD symptoms are:

  • Nightmares of the traumatic event
  • Avoiding situations that may trigger memories of the traumatic event
  • Depression
  • always being over-alert
  • Troubled sleeping
  • Increased anger and irritability

Knowing who is more likely to get PTSD after a car accident is almost impossible. Both children and adults can experience the aforementioned symptoms. However, it is known that the longer the person experiences the traumatic event, the more likely they are to develop PTSD. For example, someone that was trapped inside their car during a overturn for a long time, rather than being quickly rescued.

Car Accident PTSD

The United States Department of Federal Affairs conducted research that suggests that most people who get involved in a car accident will not develop PTSD. Only about 10 percent of them will develop psychological issues because of their accident.

However, if someone suffers from depression or anxiety, they will be more likely to develop PTSD after a car accident. Another factor in developing PTSD after an accident is the extent of the injuries they suffered, even if it is just a road rash injury. In fact, victims who develop PTSD from a car accident are more likely to have chronic pain from those injuries. The reasoning behind this is unknown. However, it can have a debilitating effect on the victim.

Filing a Car Accident Claim and Seeking PTSD Damages

PTSD can be a very serious issue that can worsen the injuries you suffered from a car accident. You can get compensation for all your suffered damages. Even emotional trauma is included when you file a car accident claim. In order to receive compensation for it, you have to document all of your sufferings. Additionally, whether you are an undocumented immigrant or a citizen of the United States, it is your right to file a claim for PTSD damages.

Proving PTSD Damages in a Personal Injury Claim

When you file a personal injury claim for PTSD you can’t do it without the proper proof. This means you need to have a diagnosis or some corroborating testimony at least from a mental health expert.

The Importance Of Expert Testimony in PTSD Claims

An expert witness is required to testify when the issue in hand is beyond the comprehension of the juror. This expert witness will give a good explanation of the issue and will give their opinion on whether the issue exists or not in the case.

PTSD is generally known by everybody. However, it may not be understood in all its entirety by a juror. That being said, the average juror may not be qualified to assess if the victim is really suffering from PTSD and is part of their personal injury damages. This is why an expert witness is required to help them assess it.

Expert And Fact Witnesses For PTSD

Having an expert witness to testify if you have PTSD is not always enough. In some cases, a fact witness might be necessary. A fact witness will be able to give additional testimony about whether the victim has the signs and symptoms described by the expert witness.

In other words, the expert witness is not required to give testimony about the fact that the victim actually has PTSD. The expert witness only testifies about what needs to be proven to establish PTSD. If the expert witness is also the victim’s therapist and has personally seen the victim exhibiting all of the symptoms. In this case, the therapist serves as an expert and fact witness.

What The Witness Testimony Includes On PTSD

The expert witness will testify to the nature and signs of the victim’s PTSD. These are usually:

  • The first stressful event
  • Recurring nightmares and flashbacks about the accident
  • Avoiding situations that trigger flashbacks about the accident
  • Symptoms of anxiety such as insomnia and startled responses.

Recovering Compensation For PTSD After A Car Accident?

Like we mentioned before, PTSD is a very serious mental health disorder that can require long-term treatment. This disorder affects the victim’s ability to have a normal life, work, and earn a living.

If the accident that caused their PTSD was caused by negligence, then the victim may be entitled to compensation for PTSD. A Cogburn Law personal injury lawyer will help you file a claim after suffering from PTSD and get you compensation for:

  • Medical bills 
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering caused by PTSD 

PTSD Compensation For Car Accident Victims In Las Vegas

Our Las Vegas car accident lawyers will help you build a case for compensation for PTSD after a car accident. We will get evidence to tie your PTSD diagnosis to the car accident. Call us today at (702) 748-7777 for a free consultation! You don’t pay until we win!

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I was hesitant about getting a lawyer for many reasons, however the entire staff at Cogburn reassured me that everything would be okay. They were always very attentive and provided detailed answers to any questions I had. I would like to thank the entire staff for all of your hard work, making sure that my daughters and I were compensated for the car accident, and making sure we received all the necessary treatment. You were awesome. If you need an attorney that won’t look at you as just another case, that’ll return your calls/emails I definitely recommend this team.

Kaleighna P.