Surviving a car accident might weigh very heavily on one’s mind and mental state. Many survivors experience PTSD and need serious help. In such a case, you can claim your PTSD as part of your damages in a lawsuit.
Getting compensation for PTSD can be tricky since these damages are often unconnected to money and inherently subjective. Your first step is to identify and include your symptoms in your complaint. How much compensation is on the line varies from case to case. For some, PTSD has a huge impact on their life. For others, their symptoms are more manageable. The overall impact of your symptoms on your personal and professional life, along with any economic factors like hospital bills, should be considered. It is important to get a formal diagnosis of PTSD from a certified mental health professional. Not only will a diagnosis help convince the jury of your claim, but your doctor might testify as an expert witness.
PTSD can be extremely difficult to live with, and our Tennessee car accident lawyers can schedule a free initial case evaluation to discuss damages if you call Howe Law at (844) 876-4357.
How to Get Compensation for PTSD in a Tennessee Car Accident Case
You deserve compensation for the PTSD caused by your car accident. Getting compensation for PTSD after a car accident is somewhat tricky, as these damages are not always related to money and are instead based on your subjective personal experiences living with the condition. Our Nashville car accident lawyers can help you articulate your experiences so that you get the most compensation possible.
To begin the process of claiming damages for PTSD, you need to identify your symptoms and determine when they began. This can be tricky for some plaintiffs, as PTSD symptoms might not reveal themselves right away. Many plaintiffs are living with PTSD and do not realize it because they believe their symptoms are a normal part of the recovery process after an accident. If you have not done so already, speak to a mental health professional like a therapist. They can help diagnose you and determine just how severe your condition is.
Once you have identified your symptoms and we can explain to the jury how you have been suffering, our next step is to determine what kind of compensation we believe your symptoms are worth. This might sound a bit cold and callous, but it is an important step in the judicial process. A good rule of thumb is the more your symptoms have harmed your life and well-being, the higher your damages and compensation should be.
How Much Compensation is Available for PTSD and Similar Damages in Tennessee Car Accident Cases?
Exactly how much compensation you might be awarded for PTSD after a car accident largely depends on your unique experiences and whether we can convince the jury of your claims. Claims for PTSD and other non-economic damages are subjective by nature. While we can do our best to present evidence of your suffering and pain, the jury ultimately has the final word on the matter.
When deliberating over non-economic damages for things like PTSD, the jurors often look to economic damages for some guidance. Generally, non-economic damages are thought to flow naturally from certain types of injuries. For example, high medical bills usually mean severe injuries, which in turn mean great pain and suffering. In short, the higher your economic damages are, the higher your non-economic damages might also be. If you incurred any financial costs related to your PTSD, such as mental health care or therapy, we can use those details to advocate for higher non-economic damages.
While your PTSD might be worth a great deal of compensation, it is not unlimited. There are statutory caps on non-economic damages under Tenn. Code Ann. § 29-39-102(a)(2). According to this law, non-economic damages are capped at $750,000.
Do I Need a Formal Diagnosis to Get Compensation for PTSD After a Car Accident in Tennessee?
While a formal diagnosis of PTSD is not required by law, it is incredibly helpful to your claims. Your non-economic damages may encompass a whole host of painful experiences, not just PTSD. Even without a diagnosis from a medical professional, we might still help you claim substantial non-economic damages.
A diagnosis is more than validation from a reputable doctor. Your doctor can explain your diagnosis in court and give greater context to the jury about what you are going through. For example, your doctor may explain how your specific PTSD symptoms present themselves and what living with those symptoms is like. They might also shed light on how long you may live with these symptoms and what treatment looks like.
Without a formal diagnosis, your case might be left vulnerable to serious doubts from the jury. Having a doctor explain your PTSD symptoms lends your claims validity and makes your case much stronger.
Evidence You Need to Prove Damages for PTSD After a Car Accident in Tennessee
Evidence to prove PTSD in a car accident case may vary based on your specific circumstances. As said before, a doctor should evaluate your mental health and hopefully determine a diagnosis. The doctor can then take the stand and explain your PTSD symptoms to a jury. However, our search for evidence does not end here.
It would greatly benefit your case if you also took the stand and testified about your PTSD symptoms and how they affect your life and daily routine. While hearing about symptoms and treatment from a doctor can be powerful and persuasive to a jury, they also need your story. It really puts things into perspective for a jury when they hear a plaintiff explain how their PTSD symptoms prevent them from holding down a job or spending time with their kids. Your real-life stories of how PTSD has made your life harder may hit very close to home for jurors and convince them to award greater damages and compensation.
Contact Our Tennessee Car Accident Lawyers to Discuss Your Claim Now
PTSD can severely hinder your ability to live your life normally, and our Murfreesboro car accident attorneys can schedule a free initial case evaluation to discuss damages if you call Howe Law at (844) 876-4357.