While car accidents are rather common, their impact on a person’s mental state should not be underestimated. Many accident survivors report feelings of great psychological turmoil, including PTSD symptoms, after an accident.
If you experience PTSD after a car accident, you may claim damages for those experiences in your lawsuit against the responsible driver. PTSD and similar conditions of the mind are not necessarily connected to money, and measuring them is a somewhat subjective process. Juries often compare non-economic damages for PTSD to economic damages. Several methods for computing non-economic damages, such as the per diem method and the multiplier method, may be utilized. To prove your claims of PTSD and get as much compensation as possible, you and your attorney should focus on presenting evidence of your symptoms and how they have affected your daily life.
If you are living with PTSD and other similar symptoms after an auto accident, call our Georgia car accident lawyers at (844) 876-4357 and schedule a free case assessment with us at Howe Law.
Damages for PTSD After a Georgia Car Accident
If you experience PTSD symptoms after a car accident, you should speak to a lawyer about getting fair compensation. While psychological conditions like PTSD are not physical injuries, they are injuries nonetheless and should be compensated by the person who caused them.
Compensatory damages are broadly composed of economic damages that cost the plaintiff actual money and non-economic damages that are still considered harmful but do not impose a financial cost. PTSD may be counted among non-economic damages. However, things like hospital bills or visits to a therapist or counselor for your PTSD are expensive and may be added to your economic damages claims.
PTSD, like many other psychological conditions, is somewhat subjective. Different people might experience different symptoms of different degrees. For example, one person might have manageable symptoms they can work through with a therapist. Others might have severe symptoms that require them to seek inpatient treatment. Our Athens car accident lawyer can help you persuade a jury to award you greater non-economic damages for all the pain, suffering, and turmoil you have gone through with your PSTD.
Calculating Damages for PTSD in a Georgia Car Accident Case
Damages for PTSD are somewhat subjective and are ultimately decided by the jury. While we can present details about how your life has changed since developing PTSD symptoms, the jury has the final say on what your compensation should be worth. The jury does not just pull a number out of thin air, though. Several methods for determining non-economic damages might be used to calculate your compensation.
Per Diem Method
One method for calculating non-economic losses and damages is the per diem method. This method essentially determines the value of your non-economic damages, including PTSD symptoms, based on how long your non-economic injuries persist. Often, juries will assign a dollar amount to each day you suffer. The longer your PTSD symptoms last, the higher your compensation may be.
For example, suppose it has been 8 months since the accident, and you have been experiencing PTSD symptoms for the entire time. Next, suppose the jury believes your PTSD symptoms are severe and deserve substantial compensation, so they assign a dollar value of $100 to each day of your pain and suffering. The total of 8 months is about 240 days. If each day is worth $100, your non-economic damages would come out to $24,000.
If your PTSD symptoms are likely to persist for a long time, we can help you argue for reasonably anticipated future damages. In such a case, a doctor might be needed to explain the likelihood of your prognosis and future living with PTSD.
The more severe the jury thinks your PTSD symptoms are, the more money they might assign to each day of your suffering. If this method is used in your case, it is important to show the jury just how badly your PTSD affects your life.
The multiplier method takes a different approach. Rather than come up with a dollar amount representing your pain and suffering, the jury uses the value of your total economic damages. Economic damages come from things like medical bills, therapist bills, property damage, lost income, and more monetary costs.
Using this method, the jury multiplies your economic damages by a number of their choosing to calculate your non-economic damages, including those for PTSD. The multiplier number is usually a number between 1 and 5, although the exact range might vary. If the jury believes your non-economic injuries are especially severe, they may choose a higher multiplier number.
How to Prove Your Claims for PTSD-Related Damages in a Georgia Car Accident Case
Proving your claims for any damages is challenging, but proving non-economic damages for things like PTSD is especially difficult. These damages are highly personal and subjective. The jury must place themselves in your position and try to get an idea of what you are feeling. On top of that, PTSD is a medical diagnosis that jurors might not be prepared to wrap their minds around without additional evidence.
It is paramount to your claims that you testify about your experiences with PTSD. The nature of these damages is very subjective and unique to you. The jury cannot accurately assess damages and compensation for PTSD unless you take the stand and explain your situation. While this might be difficult, it is worthwhile.
We might also need information from your doctors who have been treating you for PTSD. Your doctor might be able to testify as an expert about your condition and how it affects you. Expert testimony can be highly informative and persuasive. If you have not met with a doctor about your PTSD symptoms yet, we can help you get to a doctor as soon as possible.
Speak to Our Georgia Car Accident Attorneys About Damages for PTSD and Other Injuries
If you have experienced PTSD symptoms after an accident on the road, call our Atlanta car accident attorneys at (844) 876-4357 and set up a free case assessment with our team at Howe Law.