Think about the last time you heard an ad on the radio or TV for a personal injury attorney. How often have you heard the phrase “pain and suffering” included in the kinds of damages an attorney can recover for victims? Pain and suffering can refer to both emotional and physical injuries suffered by victims due to someone else’s negligence or deliberately harmful actions.
Physical pain and suffering can be easier to validate in a legal case since it often comes from physical injuries that can be medically documented. Emotional pain and suffering cause mental and psychological distress that is not often visible. For instance, emotional trauma from a car accident triggers a panic attack any time a victim must get into a car. The effects of this kind of emotional anguish can be long-lasting and negatively impact a person’s overall quality of life.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a type of emotional pain and suffering. Symptoms of PTSD include debilitating anxiety, flashbacks, and nightmares. Most victims who survive traumatic events have difficulty adjusting and coping. For most, the struggle is short-term, and they eventually work through it to regain normal functioning. With PTSD, the side effects can linger for months or years and interfere with daily living.
Symptoms of PTSD usually begin a month after a traumatic event. PTSD is classified into four types: avoidance, changes in physical and emotional reactions to stimuli, intrusive memories, and negative changes in mood and thinking. Some of the most common symptoms of PTSD include:
People suffering from PTSD can re-experience the trauma and find themselves triggered emotionally by activities, people, and places that remind them of the traumatic event.
Yes, absolutely. Most personal injury attorneys include PTSD in an emotional distress claim as part of a personal injury lawsuit. When a victim suffers psychological injuries brought on by physical injury or a traumatic event, an experienced personal injury attorney can evaluate the situation and seek guidance from a psychologist who can support the claim of emotional injury. Any costs you incur for the diagnosis and treatment of your PTSD can be included in your request for damages in your personal injury claim.
In New Mexico, the number one cause of PTSD in the general population is car wrecks. With traffic crashes on the rise in New Mexico, it increases the likelihood that more people will explore suing for PTSD as part of a personal injury claim. Other accidents that can cause PTSD include:
Any accident has the potential to leave victims with PTSD. The more serious your accident or injury, the more extensive the emotional trauma.
Proving PTSD is more complicated than confirming a physical injury. The first thing you will need is an official diagnosis of PTSD from a qualified medical professional. Psychologists and psychiatrists can evaluate victims and provide supporting documentation of PTSD. Your attorney may call on the doctor who provided the diagnosis to testify to the fact in court if your case is not settled. Expert witnesses must do more than simply state a victim has PTSD. They must provide supporting evidence of their diagnosis. Since emotional trauma is subjective and some people are not convinced it is real, your expert witnesses must be compelling and convincing if called to testify before a jury.
Eyewitnesses to a victim’s suffering with PTSD symptoms also can provide testimony in the case. They can recount instances when you have displayed signs of PTSD and how it has affected your quality of life.
PTSD is considered mental trauma in a personal injury lawsuit. As such, you can receive compensation for this form of suffering. If your case is not settled out of court, you can expect a jury to use these factors when calculating damages for PTSD.
PTSD is real and it affects more personal injury victims than most realize. If you suspect you suffer from PTSD after an accident or injury, the experienced and caring attorneys at Atkinson Law Firm can help. Scott Atkinson is the leading personal injury attorney in Albuquerque, NM. His excellent track record of representing personal injury victims makes him a good choice when pursuing your PTSD case. Call 505-944-1050 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.
DISCLAIMER: The use of this website, internet, or form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this website, internet, or form. This is an Attorney Advertisement and use of this website or the email links do not create an attorney-client relationship. You are not considered a client until Atkinson Law Firm accepts your case and a contract is signed. This website is intended for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing formal legal advice or solicitation.
Atkinson Law Firm, LTD © 2022 - All rights reserved
Albuquerque Website Design by BK Design Solutions