Research shows that as many as 50% of people involved in a car accident will show symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) . Some symptoms can be mild and some can be severe. The most common experience is an increase in anxiety levels or stress response when met with triggering stimuli.
If you are pursuing a claim or lawsuit that includes damages for PTSD there are some key things you should know. Post-traumatic stress is a complicated psychological disorder and it can be tricky to prove - you often need an expert witness or other solid evidence.
In this article, we will organize the most important considerations so as to clear any confusion and to increase the chances you will be properly compensated. We'll specifically discuss….
If the recklessness or negligence of another driver has caused you to suffer from PTSD, you may want to file a personal injury lawsuit against them or their insurer. In doing so, you'll need to retain a reputable attorney who will likely get a medical expert to vouch for your condition.
Beyond these basic steps, there are three key considerations to this type of lawsuit.
Success or failure in this type of suit has a lot to do with the medical and legal professionals you choose to trust. It also can come down to a 'battle of the experts' as the other side may try to discredit your case with their own expert.
In some court cases subject matter is introduced that will not make sense to the average person. Although most people have a basic grasp of what PTSD is, the legal system does not trust an ordinary juror to determine whether someone is suffering from PTSD. This is where an expert witness is brought it to do the assessment and define the concept for the court.
According to the Law Dictionary, an expert witness is:
A person who is a specialist in a subject, often technical, who may present his/her expert opinion without having been witness to any occurrence relating to the lawsuit or criminal case.
If a lawsuit goes to trial, an expert witness testifies as to what PTSD is and if someone is within those general parameters. If the expert witness has extensive experience with a patient they may speak in terms of diagnosis.
But generally, they are not authoritative in this way. The expert opinion must be backed up by other evidence or fact witnesses who can speak directly to the specifics of the case.
The bottom line when it comes to expert witness or fact witnesses is that the more sources you have to back up your position, the more credible you will be in the eyes of the court.
Often the first thing people want to know about a stress-related lawsuit is how much might they expect to get out of it. Instead of simply saying it varies (which is true), we will lay out five factors which influence a settlement's value.
In some cases, they can be compensated for any lost opportunities for a job. For example, if a victim of PTSD missed an interview due to their symptoms, they may be able to receive compensation for the lost job opportunity.
When a PTSD lawsuit is won, the payouts tend to be generous. According to information collected by A2L Consulting, a survey of nearly 1,400 civil jury verdicts across all jurisdictions and case types, showed that 60% of the plaintiffs received a settlement for their PTSD lawsuit. Of those 60%, about 30% received at least one million dollars in damages.
If you or a loved one is suffering from car accident-related PTSD, the best thing to do is get a proper medical evaluation and seek experienced legal counsel. In terms of lawsuits, let's review the critical points.
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