Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a serious mental health problem that can affect an individual after a life-threatening incident. Common triggers of PTSD include combat, a car crash, witnessing the death of a loved one, sexual assault, or a natural disaster. While the symptoms of PTSD are common in the aftermath of any traumatic event, if they last for months and do not improve with time, these symptoms may point to PTSD.
If the root cause of your PTSD is an event caused by someone else—for example, a car crash—you may be able to seek damages with a personal injury lawsuit. This is especially helpful for those who are unable to find or maintain employment due to the severity of their PTSD symptoms. Before heading to court, you will need to hire South Carolina personal injury lawyers and consider the following factors in your case.
Evidence Is Key
Every personal injury case relies heavily on evidence, but this is especially true when a mental disorder is the primary injury for which you are seeking compensation. Not only must your legal team be able to prove that you have the disorder in question, they must also demonstrate how it affects your life, prove that the initial accident caused your PTSD, and show how the other party’s action or inaction caused the initial accident. Your legal team may consult with psychiatric experts and researchers to build a solid case on your behalf.
Using Witnesses to Back Up Your Case
Witnesses are an important part of a personal injury case involving PTSD. PTSD is still widely misunderstood by much of the general population, with many still believing that it only affects those who have participated in armed combat. Expert witnesses can testify about the diagnostic requirements of PTSD and how PTSD manifests in individuals. They may also indicate whether the plaintiff’s symptoms would lead to a diagnosis of PTSD.
Your team may also call witnesses who can testify about your behavior after the incident. This does not necessarily mean someone with a background in medicine. Witnesses may simply be people who know you and have seen your PTSD symptoms impact your daily life. However, any mental health professionals you have seen may be able to provide expert testimony and testify that you have exhibited PTSD symptoms.
For any personal injury case to succeed, a victim must have verifiable damages. Compensatory damages include medical bills, lost wages, and other damages that you can easily put a financial value on. General damages include pain and suffering, mental anguish, and other damages that are harder to quantify. Your legal team must prove that you have verifiable damages as a result of your PTSD diagnosis.
Looking for Help With Your Personal Injury Case?
Choosing the right team of South Carolina personal injury lawyers can help you build the strongest case possible. Reach out to the team at the Law Offices of F. Craig Wilkerson Jr. to discuss your potential case. Contact our Rock Hill office at (803) 324-7200.