The 21st century is a dangerous place. Traffic is frightful. Medical malpractice is an epidemic. Hundreds of dangerous consumer products are recalled every year. Anyone could be unexpectedly and seriously injured.
Serious accidents happen all the time, both in traffic and almost everywhere else, but your experience during and after a serious accident could be completely different from what someone else might experience in a similar accident.
WHAT IS PTSD? WHAT WILL A PTSD VICTIM NEED?
Guilt, anger, and even some amount of depression are quite normal – and almost always temporary – responses after a serious accident. However, PTSD is not a natural reaction.
A PTSD diagnosis means the trauma is so overwhelming that your enjoyment of life is going to be severely impaired.
While you might be able to “push yourself” through a mild depression on your own, if the diagnosis is PTSD, you’re going to need professional help.
You may also need to have some sound legal advice, and you may need to have an aggressive personal injury lawyer advocating on your behalf.
HOW CAN A PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER HELP PTSD VICTIMS?
In central Florida, if you are diagnosed with PTSD after any kind of accident caused by another person’s negligence, discuss your legal options and rights immediately with an experienced Orlando personal injury attorney.
Post-traumatic stress disorder is a serious mental disorder, but you’ll need a lawyer’s help to prove that your PTSD is legitimate, genuine, and the result of a specific accident.
If someone else should be held accountable for the PTSD you struggle with after a serious accident, prevailing with a personal injury claim – and acquiring the compensation you need – may require the testimony or statement of an expert witness.
Because psychological injuries aren’t visible, it is particularly difficult to prove to jurors in a personal injury trial that you have sustained a psychological injury – that is, unless you have an expert on psychological injuries testify on your behalf.
WHAT IS THE ROLE OF AN EXPERT WITNESS?
In personal injury trials, expert witnesses often provide specifics and technical details that are not common knowledge to the average person or juror.
Expert witnesses try to explain complicated or obscure information in a way that the average person can understand.
Experts are allowed to give professional opinions, and their testimony is generally considered objective and neutral since they have no personal stake in the outcome of a case.
HOW IMPORTANT IS EXPERT TESTIMONY IN PERSONAL INJURY CASES?
Expert testimony is also usually quite persuasive. Personal injury lawyers regularly consult professionals and other authorities who may offer expert testimony in personal injury trials.
Automotive experts, for example, testify routinely in cases arising from traffic accidents, and medical authorities almost always testify in medical malpractice cases.
In a case arising from an accident that causes PTSD, your attorney will probably seek the testimony of a clinical psychologist or an experienced psychiatrist.
Most people are vaguely aware of PTSD but don’t really know any details about it, so expert testimony in PTSD cases really is necessary.
WHAT WILL A PTSD EXPERT’S TESTIMONY DESCRIBE?
A PTSD expert will need to explain to jurors precisely what a PTSD diagnosis is.
Other witnesses may testify regarding whether the plaintiff “fits” the PTSD diagnosis, and if the expert has personally examined or treated the plaintiff, the expert may offer testimony regarding whether the plaintiff in fact suffers from PTSD.
Most Florida personal injury cases are settled outside of the courtroom when attorneys for both sides meet privately and negotiate on each client’s behalf.
HOW WILL YOUR ATTORNEY HANDLE A PTSD TRIAL?
However, if your PTSD case becomes a courtroom trial, your attorney will argue that:
1. Someone who was negligent caused and should be held accountable for an accident that injured you.
2. You sustained an injury, and your PTSD is a result of that injury.
3. You are entitled under Florida law to be compensated for the costs of your PTSD treatment and for any future losses or costs associated with your PTSD.
WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO HANDLE PTSD?
PTSD is serious, but it isn’t rare. Thousands struggle with – and manage – this disorder every day. If you suffer with PTSD because you were seriously injured, consider these suggestions:
1. Talk to a counselor regarding your feelings and fears. Counseling resources are everywhere here in central Florida.
2. Exercise. Get outdoors if you can. After a serious physical injury (that may accompany PTSD), physical therapy may help. Consult your doctor about it.
3. Don’t miss medical appointments. Follow your doctor’s advice. If you pursue a personal injury claim, and you miss your medical appointments, it may look like you aren’t really injured or suffering.
4. Along the same line, don’t forget to take your medications. For most PTSD patients, prescription medicines are only needed temporarily.
WHAT WILL IT COST TO LEARN MORE ABOUT YOUR RIGHTS?
Speak without delay to an experienced accident attorney about your rights and your recourse after any kind of accident – a traffic crash, a slip-and-fall, or a mishap at work, for example – that you believe may have triggered PTSD.
It costs nothing to obtain sound legal advice. Many personal injury attorneys in Florida offer a first legal consultation and a comprehensive case review for no charge and at no obligation.
When you’ve been injured, and the medical bills start piling up, that can be important.
Injury attorneys also operate on what is called a “contingent” fee basis, so that the attorney’s fee is contingent upon what that attorney wins on your behalf. You pay nothing until you receive a settlement or verdict.
IF YOU ARE INJURED BY NEGLIGENCE, HOW QUICKLY SHOULD YOU ACT?
You’ll need to act immediately after a serious accident. If you are injured in Florida by someone else’s negligence, you must bring a legal action within four years. After that time, the statute of limitations takes effect, and Florida courts will no longer hear your claim.
If you’ve been injured by negligence, and if you’re suffering with PTSD as a result, do not wait four years. Don’t wait at all. Arrange now to speak with an experienced Orlando personal injury attorney.
Florida entitles the victims of negligence to complete compensation for their medical expenses, their personal pain and suffering, and more.
If you have been injured by someone’s negligence, get the legal help you need. Get it now. That is your right.