Learn how expert testimony is used to prove PTSD in a personal injury claim.

What Is Required to Secure Compensation for PTSD?In any serious personal injury accident, the victim is likely to suffer emotional and psychological distress as well as physical harm. Feelings of depression, anger, frustration, and sadness in the face of a painful and life-changing injury are common and understandable. In some situations, the accident and/or the circumstances leading up to it may have been so upsetting that the victim suffers significant psychological harm and may even develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

When this happens, it is absolutely essential that the victim find an experienced personal injury attorney to assist them, especially if it seems likely the matter will need to go to court.

After all, your average juror is not qualified to fully understand PTSD and appropriately value related damages on their own. The victim’s attorney will need to educate them through the skillful presentation of evidence and testimony from an expert witness, so it is obviously very helpful for the attorney to already have connections with appropriate experts and experience representing clients with PTSD.

How Can an Expert Witness Help Prove PTSD?

The ideal situation is for the expert witness to also be the victim’s treating therapist. This way, the witness can provide their professional diagnosis of the patient’s condition based on their personal observation (or knowledge by their patient’s report) of the following signs and symptoms of PTSD:

  • An initial stressful event (in this case the accident)
  • Intrusive, recurring thoughts, dreams, or flashbacks to the event
  • Anxiety symptoms
  • A compulsion to avoid people, places, and things that might trigger thoughts about the event
  • Disruption of important aspects of the victim’s life (such as school, work, or relationships)

If the expert witness is not the treating therapist, they can present factual evidence as to the signs and symptoms required for a PTSD diagnosis. They may also be asked their opinion of the plaintiff’s condition, but their diagnosis will not be as strong as that of a treating therapist.

We Fight to Settle Out of Court Whenever Possible

While it is always important to be prepared for court should litigation prove necessary, in most cases it is preferable to resolve the matter in negotiations outside of court. This spares the victim the stress of trial and secures their compensation faster.

At The Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas, we will do everything we can to secure you a fair settlement for PTSD and other damages outside of court, but you can also rely on us for effective courtroom representation. Call 909-982-0707 now to discuss your case for free.