Depending on the circumstances of a car accident, it may be possible for victims in North Carolina and elsewhere to ask for damages related to PTSD. To successfully make a claim for mental distress, a doctor must make a correct diagnosis of the condition. The practitioner must be qualified to make the diagnosis, and it must be proven that the PTSD was caused by the accident.
However, if a person had PTSD prior to the crash, it may be enough to claim that the crash triggered symptoms related to the condition. In many cases, a plaintiff’s attorney will use the testimony of an expert witness to establish that the crash was the cause for mental distress whether it was caused by the crash or triggered by it. The testimony of an expert may overcome assertions by the defendant’s attorney that the car crash was too minor to cause emotional stress.
One issue that a plaintiff may need to consider is that an individual only gets one chance to settle a case. As PTSD symptoms may not show themselves for several months after an accident, they may not be present when a case is settled six or 12 months after the crash took place. However, it is generally not possible to reopen a case unless there are signs of fraud.
If a crash is caused by a negligent driver, an injured victim may be entitled to compensation to help pay for medical bills, recoup lost wages or make up for lost earnings. It may also help to pay for any remodeling done to a home or modifications made to a vehicle to help a disabled person make use of them.