If you were involved in a traumatic accident, and you develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), then you may include this in your personal injury claim. As usual, however, you will need to convince the judge or jury that you have PTSD. Apart from your doctor's notes, you need the testimony of these two people:
An expert witness is a professional with knowledge and experience in the subject matter at hand, which, in this case is PTSD. You need his or her help because the average juror does not have a thorough understanding of this disorder, and his or her role is to explain it.
The acronym is thrown around a lot, but many people do not know important facts about the disorder such as its:
These are some of the things that your expert witnesses will be expected to explain to the court.
An expert witness expounds on the nature of PTSD, but he or she may not be in a position to explain whether you have the condition. The professional who will do this is the fact witness who has a thorough understanding of your accident and can tell whether or not it made you develop PSTD.
The fact witnesses will need to testify as to the "facts" of your case, and not general PTSD issues. In particular, he or she needs to show that your injury meets the threshold for PTSD. This threshold is met when the fact witness's testimony proves that:
- Your accident was stressful
- You have constant thoughts about the accident and may even have nightmares about it
- You are actively avoiding things, events or people connected with the accident. For example, if it was a train accident, then you may be fearful of everything connected to rails, trains or even their respective workers
- You are exhibiting serious emotional distress that may be characterized by psychological imbalances such as hyperactivity
- The injury, and its aftermath,
has seriously impactedyour life. For example, you may be fearful to get out of the house and no longer enjoy the outdoor activities you used to enjoy with your loved ones before the accident.
It's not easy, but an injury lawyer will organize the testimony of these important witnesses. This is one more step to ensure that your injury claim includes all the possible damages you can get. It's one more reason you need a lawyer to handle a complex injury claim. To find out more information, speak with someone like LeBaron & Jensen, P.C.