Due to the highly individual nature of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after car accidents, there is no average settlement amount. How your crash affects your mental health is personal, and damages can reflect that.
PTSD compensation may also be bundled with other aspects of a settlement, such as pain and suffering. Understanding what you may receive requires evaluating several variables.
Factors Affecting PTSD Settlements
Mental health issues impact victims in different ways. The Mayo Clinic lists several symptoms and complications for PTSD, ranging from trouble sleeping to flashbacks to avoidance behaviors. How your PTSD manifests plays a role in your settlement amount.
Some of our main considerations when valuing your case are:
- Physical injuries and medical bills
- Impact on your job
- Changes to relationships
- Accident circumstances
By gathering evidence and information in these areas, we can gain an idea of the appropriate damages to pursue.
Whether Your PTSD is Linked to Physical Injury
While it can be challenging to prove what is happening in your mind, physical injuries tend to leave a paper trail, such as X-rays, doctor’s visits, and prescription refills.
If you were in a car accident that not only injured you but also caused the death of a loved one, you could develop PTSD. Likewise, injuries that change your life, temporarily or permanently, and were caused by a traumatic event could cause you to develop phobias, experience nightmares, and avoid similar situations.
Therefore, part of our pursuit of PTSD damages may be supported by your physical injuries. This statement is not to say you must sustain serious injuries to suffer PTSD, but that injuries can be a facet to your case valuation.
Medical Bills Associated with PTSD for Which We Can Help You Seek Reimbursement
We can also use medical bills and records to support your claims of PTSD so that you can be reimbursed through the settlement. The expenses you can claim include:
- Psychological counseling
- Alternative therapies
- Prescription medication
- Support animals
How Your Condition has Impacted Your Ability to Work
PTSD can be destabilizing, impacting your ability to keep a job. This condition can be even more challenging if you are required to drive or operate machinery and can no longer do so without experiencing symptoms.
Even if your job does not directly remind you of your experience, PTSD’s impact on sleep, mood, and thought patterns can cause you to miss work or change what you can do in your field. As a result, we consider the following in your settlement:
- Lost wages
- Changes to work ability
- Job retraining
- Future lost earning capacity
How Your Condition has Affected Your Relationships
Your settlement should reflect PTSD’s far-ranging effects, especially in personal relationships. Symptoms that are isolating for you may also be isolating for your loved ones.
If your disorder has affected your intimacy with your spouse, changed how you relate to your children, or created challenges in interacting with family or friends, we can fight for loss of consortium damages.
Aspects of Your Accident That Trigger PTSD in Your Everyday Life
Some accidents are uniquely traumatic, such as:
- T-bone crashes
- Collisions involving pedestrians
- Accidents involving fire
- Big rig accidents
The circumstances surrounding your crash may help us determine how your PTSD has affected you. For example, your crash may be associated with certain stimuli. If these stimuli are common in your neighborhood, we may argue for additional damages for moving expenses or extra compensation for that suffering.
An Attorney Can Help You Prove Your Emotional and Mental Wounds
According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), victims of PTSD must meet certain requirements to be diagnosed. This diagnosis includes more than one month of:
- One re-experiencing symptom (flashbacks, intrusive thoughts)
- One avoidance symptom (avoiding reminders of the event)
- Two arousal and reactivity symptoms (sleep troubles, being on edge, reckless behavior)
- Two cognition and mood symptoms (loss of interest, negative emotions, memory difficulties)
Types of Evidence You Can Use to Prove Your PTSD
Evaluating and highlighting these symptoms not only proves your pain but also gives us insight into the areas of your life most affected by the disorder. We can provide evidence supporting your diagnosis through:
- Witness testimony
- Expert analysis
- Psychological evaluations
- Receipts for relevant over-the-counter (OTC) medications
- Medical records
- Work history
Expert Testimony Helps Chart Your Recovery
Consulting experts is helpful in receiving a medical and economic prognosis for your PTSD in the months and years to come. We can help calculate your future losses by talking with:
With the help of these professionals, we can arrive at an understanding of how your PTSD will affect you and pursue appropriate compensation.
Let Our Attorneys Help You Manage Your Case
For questions about what you can expect in a settlement for PTSD after a car accident, contact the team at Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers. Your settlement should reflect what you experienced, provide relief for your current circumstances, and compensate you for future expenses. That means it will be a personalized amount tailored to you.
Call our office today for a free case review. Don’t pay us unless you win awards.