Can You Sue for PTSD After a Truck Accident in Texas?
Did you know that the prevalence of PTSD in the United States is equal to the total population of Texas? Twenty percent of people that experience a traumatic event in their lifetime will develop PTSD. Being the victim of a truck accident is just one possible cause of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Can you sue for PTSD after a truck accident in Texas?
The simple answer is yes, but the process is much more complex than that. Keep reading to learn what you need to know.
Truck Accidents and PTSD
Truck accidents are associated with an increased frequency of harm and risk, so much so that they’ve become a leading cause of PTSD.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a behavioral health condition. Most people related PTSD to wartime, but this is not the only cause.
Even in truck accidents that cause minor injuries, PTSD is still a possibility. PTSD refers to how a person reacts to a crash rather than the crash itself.
These are some indicators that a truck accident victim could develop PTSD:
- How long it takes to recover from any injuries
- The severity of injuries
- Whether any fatalities occurred
- Whether a victim has previous traumatic experiences
If a truck accident is severe enough to lead to PTSD, the legal system allows you to recover losses caused by the mental health condition.
PTSD Truck Accident Claims
After a truck accident in Texas, you can make a claim to receive compensation if you experience PTSD. These are damage claims that can be classified as either general damages or special damages.
Losses that are easier to place value on are considered special damages. For example, lost wages and hospital bills are both types of special damages.
General damages are those that are more difficult to determine a monetary value, such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
The value for PTSD is placed under general damages as it is not as easy to calculate.
To receive compensation for your claim, you’ll have to prove your PTSD and damages related to the mental health condition through expert testimony. Experts can establish the following:
- Whether your PTSD is connected to the truck accident
- Whether you’ve been appropriately diagnosed with PTSD
- The prognosis of your PTSD
Through these considerations, a judge can place a dollar amount on your PTSD claim.
PTSD Expert Witnesses
PTSD expert witnesses should be certified or licensed in mental health. PTSD expert witnesses have experience in a variety of areas since the condition can stem from more than truck accidents.
A PTSD expert witness may be any of the following professionals:
- Registered nurses
- Medical evaluators
When you work with a truck accident attorney in Texas, they can find an expert witness that will help you better your chances of receiving compensation for a PTSD claim.
In addition to working with lawyers and medical professionals, it’s important to show medical records proving your PTSD diagnosis.
You’ll want to see a medical professional as soon as you experience symptoms of PTSD, which may include:
- Vivid flashbacks
- Physical symptoms (sweating, pain, trembling, and nausea)
- Feeling like nowhere is safe
- Continued production of stress hormones
There are a lot of symptoms associated with PTSD which is why it’s so important to visit a doctor when mental or physical symptoms appear.
Truck accident victims suffering from PTSD might have to relive the accident by getting on the stand. A doctor may advise a patient to not get called to the stand as it could worsen the symptoms of PTSD.
Making symptoms worse is a huge concern for victims with PTSD. In a case like this, the evidence is convincing enough to award compensation to the victim.
Another factor that needs to be considered in a truck accident case involving PTSD is how long it takes to identify the mental health condition and diagnose it.
PTSD is not well understood like other medical conditions so car accident victims may not see the warning signs until they experience severe symptoms.
This problem can cause a delay in diagnosing and treating symptoms, as well as interference with the ability to recover damages from a PTSD claim.
For example, if a truck accident victim has an initial personal injury claim that doesn’t include damages from PTSD, the victim might not receive general damages at all.
A delay in the diagnosis can cause the statute of limitations to pass by the time a victim begins noticing symptoms.
What Damages Can You Recover?
In personal injury cases that involve PTSD, there are different kinds of damages that you can recover.
Economic damages in the PTSD context refer to medical and hospital treatment costs, including the costs of hiring mental health professionals.
Non-economic damages are subjective and usually require expert testimony. PTSD and pain and suffering fall into this category of damages.
It’s rare for truck accident cases to uncover punitive damages. These damages only apply when there is proof of a high level of recklessness by the at-fault driver.
If you are awarded punitive damages, you won’t receive compensation for specific losses. Instead, punitive damages punish the defendant for their misconduct.
The main issue for recovering damages for PTSD is that symptoms can last for years. Damages will need to cover:
- Emotional and mental struggles
- Pain and suffering
- Treatment costs
- Missed wages
- Loss of enjoyment of life
It’s important to hire a truck accident lawyer who can help you understand the damages you are entitled to.
Recovering Damages After a Truck Accident in Texas
If you were in a truck accident in Texas that caused PTSD, you might be entitled to general damages.
Suing for PTSD requires proof of diagnosis. In addition, you can strengthen your case with evidence like medical records, expert testimonies, and the help of a personal injury lawyer.
We will fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us now to schedule a free consultation.