There is no way of placing an average settlement value on a traffic accident claim based on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The average settlement for PTSD in a car accident is impossible to calculate because of the many factors that play a role in the value of a claim. You will need to review the facts of your claim and estimate its potential value.
A car accident attorney can help you with this process, including managing your claim and seeking fair compensation on your behalf.
Understanding PTSD and How It Affects Your Car Accident Claim
PTSD is a psychological disorder that affects those who experience or witness a traumatic event. Many people think of it as something that afflicts only soldiers, but PTSD is surprisingly common.
According to a study published in Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, between a quarter and a third of those involved in motor vehicle accidents have signs of PTSD a month or more after the crash. PTSD is more common in high-speed impacts or accidents where someone suffers a significant injury. The American Psychological Association reports that motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of PTSD among civilians.
Is It More Difficult to Prove Psychological Injuries Resulting from a Crash?
In theory, insurance companies and court systems treat psychological injuries the same way they do physical injuries. You will need to provide the bills and documentation of related expenses, show the condition is accident-related, and demand a payout that is appropriate based on that.
However, mental health concerns often prove more challenging to pursue in an insurance claim or lawsuit. Unlike physical injuries, mental trauma and PTSD can’t be seen. Often, victims feel they must tough out their mental injuries and underreport the severity of the anxiety, stress, and trauma they’ve experienced from the crash.
Mental health concerns are often not taken as seriously by insurance companies, and they may try to undercut the value of your PTSD injuries or lowball your settlement offer. Working with a personal injury law firm can help avoid these issues.
For a free legal consultation, call (800) 537-8185
Other Factors Influence the Value of Your Claim
Many accidents severe enough to trigger PTSD also involve physical injuries or major property damage. You will need to consider these injuries and the related expenses as well when you seek justice through an insurance claim. You will also need to document these losses that could affect the value of your claim:
- Doctor’s visits for physical or mental injuries
- Any related medical bills
- Any bills for your therapy or counseling
- Your time and income lost at work
- Diminished earning capacity if you have lasting injuries
- Repair or replacement of your vehicle
- Miscellaneous expenses
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
Many traffic accident victims choose to work with a law firm that regularly handles these cases. Victims can then focus on healing and moving on while their attorney manages their claim and seeks compensation. For some, continuing to discuss the accident can aggravate their stress and make their mental health struggles continue.
How does Contributory Fault Affect My Claim for PTSD Damages?
Any contribution you played in causing the crash could reduce the value of your recoverable damages. In four states, including Alabama, under case law affirmed by Golden v. McCurry (1980), a court could bar you from financial recovery if you share any fault in the crash.
Will Having an Attorney Make It Easier to Recover Compensation in My Case?
Working with a legal team that knows how to develop claims, gather support, and demand a just payout has many advantages. Many personal injury lawyers have experience working with victims who have PTSD following a car accident and understand what it takes to get an insurance company to offer appropriate compensation for mental health issues.
An attorney can take the necessary steps to:
- Investigate the crash
- Prove negligence and liability
- Document your diagnosis and medical treatment needs
- Gather evidence to support the claim
- Value the case
- File an insurance claim
- Demand an appropriate payout
- Negotiate for a fair settlement
If the insurer does not agree to a fair value for your claim, your attorney can sue the at-fault driver for just compensation. There is a time limit on doing this. It may be as little as one year in Louisiana under La. Civ. Code Art. 3492 or up to three years in Mississippi under Miss. Code Ann. § 15-1-49. Other factors also alter these timelines, and you could have less time than you think. Act as quickly as you can.
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Morris Bart, LLC Knows How to Build a Case Based on Psychological Injuries
At the Morris Bart law office near you, our contingency-fee law firm reviews cases for free for potential clients. If you suffered physical or psychological injuries in a collision caused by someone else, you could hold that driver responsible. The areas we serve include all of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Arkansas.
Call (800) 537-8185 now to speak with a team member for free.
Questions?Call (800) 537-8185
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