The American Psychiatric Association has recognized post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a diagnosable mental health condition for decades. Caused by exposure to sudden or prolonged trauma, PTSD can lead to several symptoms ranging in intensity from mild to severe. It is not unusual for drivers or passengers to exhibit signs of PTSD after a car accident. However, can they sue for damages related to their PTSD?
The short answer is yes, but whether or not you succeed depends on key factors.
What Are Common PTSD Symptoms?
PTSD can present itself differently because every person responds uniquely to trauma. However, the following symptoms are shared by a large number of those with PTSD caused by car accidents:
- Depression and anxiety
- Sleep disruption
- Mood changes
- Heart palpitations and chest discomfort unrelated to cardiovascular disease
- Concentration problems
- Excessive fear and worry
- Inability to comfortably ride in a car
- Suicidal thoughts
- Substance abuse
How Can You Prove PTSD After a Car Accident?
In New Jersey, you have the legal right to sue an at-fault driver in certain circumstances for damages after a car accident. It can be complicated to file a claim against another driver and win your case without the help of a car accident lawyer, however. You must follow strict guidelines, including adhering to the state’s personal injury statute of limitations. Additionally, you must prove that you were not more than 50 percent responsible for the crash that caused your PTSD.
To help you support your allegations of PTSD in a claim or lawsuit, make sure you have the following evidence:
- Medical diagnosis: It is not good enough to say you have experienced PTSD. You must have a certified, trained professional diagnosis saying that you have PTSD and that it was triggered by your car accident.
- Record of treatment: Your provider will lay out a treatment plan after diagnosis. You should follow this treatment to show compliance. If you stop attending therapy appointments or taking medications, representatives from the at-fault driver’s insurance company may claim that your PTSD was not as severe as you say.
- Invoice copies: Keep a physical or digital copy of all invoices you received and paid for your PTSD diagnosis. Your car accident lawyer will use these documents to come up with a request for fair damages. They can also help establish that the dates you were treated for PTSD came after your crash.
Atlantic City Car Accident Lawyers at D’Amato Law Firm Help Clients With PTSD
If you were diagnosed with PTSD by a medical professional after being in a car crash, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact our Atlantic City car accident lawyers at D’Amato Law Firm for legal help. Call at 609-926-3300 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, we serve clients in South Jersey, including Atlantic City, Linwood, Galloway Township, Cape May, Vineland, Millville, Bridgeton, Ocean City, and Woodbury.