News Article
When You Can Sue for PTSD After a Road Accident
Being involved in an accident on the road can be very traumatic and can cause a lot of suffering. Most likely, you will be entitled to receive compensation for monetary damages to yourself and vehicle. In some circumstances, an injury victim can be entitled to recover after suffering an emotional, or mental health injury, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD is a behavioral mental health condition, often associated with those who have been in a war zone. However, anyone can get PTSD after experiencing or witnessing any fearful or life-threatening event, such as a car accident.
Establishing a PTSD claim on a personal injury case can prove to be difficult. Unlike physical injuries, PTSD is not visible on the surface, therefore, harder to prove. You will most likely have to have a qualified physician give you an accurate diagnosis of PTSD. Furthermore, the doctor must conclude it is attributable to the accident which you were involved in. It is highly likely that an expert medical testimony will be required from the doctor to confirm this. As well as cross-examining the victims expert witness, a defendant will often have their own expert witness to give a competing testimony and an oppositional expert opinion. The objective of this is to demonstrate that the victim is not suffering from PTSD. In a court case like this, the outcome may ultimately depend on the decision of the jury.
However, there is a problem with PTSD claims, this issue is the timing of the settlement. Most commonly personal injury victims settle their case within six to twelve months after their accident, without having to file a lawsuit. Unfortunately, it is common for PTSD to go undiagnosed for months after an accident. Once a person settles a personal injury case, usually they cannot reopen the case. If you think you or someone you know may have PTSD after an accident look for these symptoms which include:
  • Flashbacks
  • Nightmares
  • Visual and auditory memories
  • Frequently thinking about the accident
  • Increased heart rate
  • "Butterflies" in his or her stomach
  • Irregular or heavy breathing patterns
  • Irritability
  • Sudden outbursts of anger or strong emotions
  • Profuse sweating
  • Avoiding the location of the auto accident
  • Having difficulty remembering events of the auto accidents, such as which direction he or she was driving when the collision occurred
  • Becoming estranged from loved ones or people he or she associated with prior to the auto accident
  • Feeling despair after the auto accident that may cause worry about an impending tragedy
These issues may result in sleep disorders and anxiety that prevents the victim from living a productive and normal life. If you or someone you love has been involved in an accident, you need to call Grabb & Durando on (520) 333-3333, for a free consultation.