Proving PTSD in a Personal Injury Case
After being in an accident and experiencing an injury, it is common for people to experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). If you’ve been experiencing any PTSD symptoms after an accident, you may be eligible to get compensation in a personal injury lawsuit.
And because this issue can be hard to understand for an average person, you usually able to bring an expert witness who can testify to explain the disorder. Depending on the case, this PTSD expert will be able to determine whether the issue will have a negative effect on your life not.
What exactly is PTSD?
Unlike a broken nose or a bruised rib, PTSD isn’t something that can be easily seen after a car accident. Essentially, it is an invisible injury. It also might not manifest until days, weeks, months or even years after the event.
PTSD does not happen to every car accident victim, though it isn’t uncommon since many victims experience it. It is mainly experienced when a car crash is so intense. It triggers a fight-or-flight adrenaline rush and reactions, which in turn causes the brain to become so overwhelmed and stressed, it cannot shut off the subsequent behaviors. The victim basically feels like the trauma is happening over and over again, affecting their day to day life.
PTSD, although widely known, is not fully understood by the average person. In other words, the average juror isn’t someone who can easily assess whether a plaintiff has PTSD, so the victim of the car crash will need to be assessed by an expert witness.
Aside from cross-examining the plaintiff’s expert witness, a defendant will often hire her own expert witness to give a different expert opinion. In other words, to disprove the plaintiff’s claims and demonstrate that they are not suffering from PTSD.
Sometimes, it’s not enough for an expert witness to testify and prove that they are qualified to diagnose PTSD, though it can help. Other witnesses can give additional evidence that proves the plaintiff has shown signs and symptoms the expert witness has explained to get prove a PTSD diagnosis. They are usually referred to as “fact witnesses.”
The expert is used to affirm facts, not necessarily give testimony about the fact that the plaintiff has PTSD. Further testimony from fact witnesses or other evidence is not necessary if the expert witness is the plaintiff’s personal therapist. These are the best experts to testify since they have directly witnessed the plaintiff displaying symptoms and given a diagnosis.
If this is the case, the therapist is considered an expert witness and a fact witness. Filing a personal injury lawsuit can have very serious legal and financial consequences and before you take any other steps forward, you will need someone who has a thorough knowledge of the laws and legal system, which is a qualified personal injury lawyer.
If you were involved in an accident that has had some sort of impact on your life, you should consult with an attorney to see if it’s even worth a lawsuit. At One Law Group in Beverly Hills, you can have one of our attorneys do a free evaluation of your case. Give us a call today at (844) 626-1LAW .