Austin Personal Injury Blog

PTSD & Your Personal Injury Case

Posted By The Stewart Law Firm, PLLC || 9-Mar-2018

If you’ve developed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after an accident or assault, you know firsthand how difficult it can be. Symptoms ranging from anxiety and depression to flashbacks and panic attacks can disrupt your life, and make it feel impossible to find mental relief again. Unfortunately, it can also be difficult to prove you have PTSD in a court of law, and if you’re pursuing a personal injury lawsuit after your car accident, you may be required to do just that.

Because PTSD is a complex psychological disorder, the average juror isn’t familiar with the full scope of what you’ve endured. That’s why it’s crucial to have an expert testify on your behalf, both to explain the issue at hand and to provide informed opinions if required. Expert testimony ensures each juror is fully armed with information about your condition, and will make a decision based on the facts of the case rather than their own preconceived notions about PTSD.

5 Ways Expert Testimony Can Help Your Case

There are many reasons why having an expert in your corner can help in the courtroom, but here are five of the most compelling reasons for getting an expert to testify:

  1. They can reaffirm the nature of the injury. If you give jurors a better understanding of how PSTD affects your quality of life, it will make your entire case stronger. Experts can explain how the social withdrawal, debilitating flashbacks, and mental suffering you have experienced are indeed a serious injury.
  2. They can explain causation. PTSD is caused by many different psychological and physiological factors, so it’s important to establish a clear line of causation from your accident. An expert can help by showing how a traumatic accident triggers this kind of injury.
  3. They understand the true cost of your injuries. Because a personal injury case is fundamentally about recovering damages for your medical and life expenses, it can be helpful to have a medical expert explain what those costs are. Many jurors do not realize how expensive medical and therapy bills will be after a traumatic accident.
  4. They offer credibility to your case. An expert always brings a level of credibility to the situation at hand. Having an expert to back up your experiences is an excellent way to strengthen your case in court, and can increase your chance of a positive outcome.
  5. They support the testimony of “fact witnesses.” While it can depend on your case, an expert might be able to offer a professional opinion on whether or not it seems possible that you have PTSD. This can support testimonies from “fact witnesses,” or individuals who have testified to the change in your health and behavior.

If you’re struggling with PTSD after your car accident, it can be disheartening to face even simple, day-to-day tasks, let alone seek expensive treatment for your condition. Facing off with insurance companies and third parties in a personal injury lawsuit can make your recovery all the harder, but that doesn’t have to be the case. With the advice of an experienced personal injury lawyer and an expert testimony, you’ll be much more prepared to fight for fair compensation.

Schedule a free consultation with our Austin personal injury attorneys at The Stewart Law Firm, PLLC today to find out how we can help.

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