Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is a mental condition that can have debilitating symptoms. Someone may develop PTSD after living through or witnessing a traumatic accident, such as a catastrophic car accident. Post-traumatic stress disorder is a type of pain and suffering damage under California law. It may be possible to hold someone else responsible for causing PTSD, as well as to seek financial compensation from the at-fault party with the help of a local personal injury lawyer.
Post-traumatic stress disorder can develop in people who have had near-death experiences. Intense feelings of fear can trigger a fight-or-flight response within a person in a traumatic situation. This response can persist long after the event ends in the form of PTSD. Post-traumatic stress disorder will not affect every survivor, but many accident victims can suffer one or more PTSD symptoms.
• Intrusive frightening thoughts
• Social isolation
• Memory loss
If it is a child with PTSD, parents may also notice behavioral changes and regression, such as wetting the bed after learning not to. Some people experience acute (short-term) PTSD, while others suffer from chronic PTSD. Many people recover naturally, or with help from a therapist, within six months. However, some may never fully recover from serious PTSD.
Filing a Claim for PTSD After an Accident in El Cajon
PTSD is a type of pain and suffering damage in California. Pain and suffering is an umbrella term for many different types of intangible losses, including physical pain, emotional distress, mental anguish, loss of consortium, lost quality of life, and psychological trauma. Most accident and personal injury claims involve at least some of these noneconomic damages. If you or a loved one is experiencing PTSD after an accident, take certain steps to file a claim in El Cajon.
1. Receive a diagnosis
You will need evidence of the PTSD, typically in the form of an official diagnosis from a psychologist or psychiatrist. As an adult, you must have noticed at least one re-experiencing symptoms, one avoidance symptom, two arousal/reactivity symptoms, and two cognitive/mood symptoms for at least one month to have PTSD.
2. File your claim
You or your personal injury lawyer will need to include pain and suffering damages with your civil claim against the at-fault party. Your lawyer can help you put a monetary value on your PTSD, including its economic costs (e.g. therapy and medical care) and noneconomic costs.
3. Hire experts to support your claim
Your lawyer will help you hire experts to provide testimony on your behalf. Expert witnesses will first testify as to what qualifies them to speak on the subject of PTSD. Then, they can explain the issue and give a professional opinion as to whether or not you suffer from PTSD.
4. Use other witnesses during the case
Other witnesses may also be necessary to attest to the presence of your PTSD symptoms. Friends, coworkers, and family members may come forward to help prove how PTSD symptoms have interrupted your life after a traumatic accident.
5. Contact a personal injury lawyer
If you have not already spoken to an attorney about your PTSD personal injury claim, do so now. A lawyer can help you with your burden of proof during a case involving PTSD damages. Hiring a lawyer is the best way to pursue financial compensation for post-traumatic stress disorder in El Cajon.
You have the power to file a claim for post-traumatic stress disorder after an accident in El Cajon. You can learn the value of your claim when you consult with an experienced personal injury attorney about your case. A judge or jury in California will determine the value of PTSD and other noneconomic damages by analyzing how much the accident has impacted your life. A good lawyer can help you file your claim and fight for the maximum possible amount of compensation for your specific losses.