Recovering compensation for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can be difficult, as providing proof tends to be more complicated than when a physical injury is present. However, PTSD is an equally valid psychological trauma as a physical personal injury, and if you have been subjected to this condition due to another’s negligence, you deserve to be compensated for your distress as well as other potential damages.
Types of PTSD Claims
Personal Injury claims: After experiencing a personal injury, many people have difficulty coping not only physically, but also mentally. Experiences such as car accidents, medical malpractice, bicycle accidents, boat accidents, bus accidents, dog bites, motorcycle accidents, slip and fall accidents, truck accidents, and work-related accidents can all leave physical, as well as emotional, damage. These types of cases are most often filed against the specific person who caused the accident as a result of negligence.
SSDI & VA claims: PTSD can sometimes be long-lasting and result in years of a financial burden for the afflicted. If this is the case, you may consider filing for Social Security Disability Insurance or Veterans Disability benefits.
PTSD affects people in a variety of ways. Depending on the trauma they experienced, they may face any number of symptoms that greatly impact their everyday lives. For example, someone who was in a car accident may have PTSD that prevents them from being able to travel, resulting in lost wages which they could be compensated for.
PTSD damages that may call for compensation could include:
- Lost wages
- Cost of medical treatment/therapy
- Cost of prescriptions
- Emotional distress
How to Properly Document PTSD
One of the most beneficial pieces of documentation you can have when filing a PTSD claim is a letter written by your doctor or mental health professional stating their observations regarding your diagnosis. These letters should include information about why they believe you have PTSD, any symptoms you have shown, as well as how the diagnosis has affected your everyday life and has prohibited you in any way. Acquiring additional third-party statements from friends, family, and coworkers can also be helpful in proving the effect your PTSD has had on your everyday life.
How is PTSD Proven?
There are two different types of witnesses: a fact witness and an expert witness. A fact witness testifies about their observations in regards to the case while an expert witness testifies about what they believe to be true based on the information they receive about the case.
When trying to prove PTSD, the most influential action you can take is to have your therapist testify as an expert witness for your case. If you have been diagnosed with PTSD by your therapist, they believe your psychological injury is valid based on the information you have provided them with. However, they cannot simply state that you have been diagnosed with PTSD, they must provide proof as to why they believe that is the case. In some instances, your therapist could also act as a fact witness if they have personally witnessed you experience symptoms of PTSD.
In the end, your therapist’s testimony is not the be-all, end-all of your case. Their job is only to provide accurate testimony as either a fact witness, an expert witness, or both.
How Much Compensation Can I Recover?
The amount of compensation you can recover from a PTSD claim depends on the level of severity of your diagnosis.
- Less severe PTSD: Full recovery occurs within one or two years while minor symptoms may persist.
- Moderate PTSD: Full recovery has not yet been made but symptoms are not majorly disabling.
- Moderately severe PTSD: Full recovery has not yet been made and significant disability is likely for the foreseeable future.
- Severe PTSD: Full recovery is not expected to be made and symptoms will continue to drastically affect the person’s life.
Depending on the level of severity of your PTSD, records show compensation amounts ranging from $4,500 to $120,000.
If you have been subjected to PTSD due to another’s negligence, contact our office today. Our team of experienced attorneys can help you understand the options you have, treat your case with care, and get you the compensation you deserve.