What is the Average PTSD Settlement?
September 11, 2019 | Catastrophic Injuries
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) stems from traumatic or life-threatening accidents that impose severe physical injuries on victims, such as motor vehicle accidents, assaults, and other serious events.
If you are battling PTSD caused by another person’s carelessness, you could be entitled to a PTSD settlement under Missouri’s injury laws. Read on to learn more from our experienced St. Louis Personal Injury Lawyers about your potential case.
Signs of PTSD after a catastrophic accident
The most common cause of PTSD is motor vehicle accidents. Car accidents occur at a moment’s notice and, depending on the severity, can cause debilitating physical, mental, and emotional injuries. There are countless mental health conditions linked to PTSD.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a catastrophic accident and displays the following symptoms, you could be eligible to pursue a PTSD lawsuit in Missouri:
- Intense nightmares
- Flashbacks of the traumatic event
- Feeling emotionally numb and desensitized
- Avoiding people, places, and things that remind you of the accident
- Trouble sleeping or constant fatigue
- Difficulty concentrating or feeling scatterbrained
- Feeling inexplicably jumpy, irritated, or angry
The circumstances of every accident can vary significantly, much like every victim’s PTSD damages can differ greatly. If you were the victim of a catastrophic accident, get medical treatment right away and hire a St. Louis personal injury lawyer to represent your case.
Sometimes, PTSD symptoms are present after an accident, but in other cases, symptoms can be delayed and occur months afterward. Having an experienced lawyer representing your case ensures that if PTSD symptoms do present themselves, you have document proof and your attorney can make a strong claim for your case.
Examples of PTSD Inducing Accidents:
- Car Accidents
- Bike Accidents
- Truck Accidents
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Pedestrian Accidents
- Premises Liability Accidents
- Slip and Fall Accidents
- Work Related Accidents
What should I do if I suffer PTSD after an accident?
If you are severely injured in an accident, it’s reasonable to experience feelings of distress, but if symptoms are prolonged and last for more than a month, this could be indicative of PTSD. PTSD cannot be diagnosed with the naked eye, and often, it isn’t diagnosed by a mental health professional until symptoms have severely worsened.
To prove your condition, you should:
Seek a diagnosis from a healthcare provider
If you think that you or someone you know has PTSD after an accident, it’s essential to get a professional diagnosis of your injuries. Without an official diagnosis, PTSD claims risk dismissal, or you may not recover full compensation for your damages.
Gather evidence of your losses and condition
In addition to getting a diagnosis, it’s crucial to collect evidence of how PTSD has negatively affected your overall life satisfaction. For example, copies of medical reports, work records before and after the event, and in situations involving children, school records, can be strong evidence of PTSD.
Lastly, when bringing a PTSD claim, it’s essential to gather proof of the accident that triggered the PTSD, including evidence of negligence, the other party’s contact information, and witness accounts.
Missouri PTSD lawsuits
If you suffered PTSD because of another person’s carelessness, you have the right to pursue a Missouri PTSD lawsuit and recover compensation for your harm and losses. Missouri’s time frame for injury claims is within five years of the date of the accident, and in situations involving workers’ compensation, the deadline for claims is two years.
Missouri uses an at-fault system for PTSD claims, which holds negligent parties liable for the victims’ damages if they are determined to be at fault for them. Under Missouri injury laws, if someone is responsible for another person’s PTSD, the negligent party is required to compensate the victim for expenses attributed to the accident.
The average PTSD settlement in Missouri includes compensation for mental and emotional distress, medical expenses, lost wages caused by the condition, and other damages linked to the victim’s PTSD.
How much could my PTSD lawsuit settlement be worth?
While there is no pre-determined settlement amount for accident victims who suffer from PTSD, there are certain factors that could influence the value of your case.
To help you put a value on your intangible losses, such as PTSD, we will work to learn more about the following aspects of your situation:
- The severity of your PTSD
- How PTSD has affected your income and ability to work
- How PTSD has affected your life and household responsibilities
Essentially, the more severe your PTSD and the greater the impact of PTSD on your life and ability to work, the more you may seek through an insurance claim or lawsuit.
Of course, you shouldn’t dismiss your ability to seek compensation on your own. We recommend that you seek out a free case review from our team to learn if you may be able to pursue damages for PTSD after an accident.
Examples of PTSD lawsuit settlements
Let’s say that two different victims experienced serious accidents, and both victims faced a PTSD diagnosis.
These hypothetical situations explain how two people in similar accidents can recover different settlement amounts:
- A $150,000 PTSD settlement: A 35-year-old woman was in a car accident on the highway when another vehicle merged into her lane. The vehicles spun out on the icy road, and she suffered severe whiplash, which forced her to miss nearly ten days from work. Additionally, she was also afraid to drive on the highway following the accident and suffered painful flashbacks. The trauma of the accident led the victim to seek out treatment for PTSD for two months following the accident.
- A $500,000 PTSD settlement: A 42-year-old man was run off the road by a semi-truck, and the victim’s vehicle was totaled when he crashed into a ditch beside the highway. He suffered multiple broken bones, including broken ribs, which forced him to temporarily change jobs at his company. He was also diagnosed with PTSD along with depression, as he was unable to perform his former work duties or physical activities for several months. His PTSD symptoms interrupted his sleep schedule and ability to drive.
Of course, every case is different. Even if your situation somewhat resembles the details of these hypothetical cases, there are many aspects of your case that could differ from those above—and impact your potential settlement amount.
What other damages could I seek after a car accident?
A car accident can leave you with devastating expenses and other losses beyond your symptoms of PTSD.
We can help you seek compensation for the full range of these losses through a PTSD lawsuit settlement, including:
- Property damage costs
- Lost income, for paychecks you missed during your recovery period
- Reduced earning capacity, if you will no longer be able to earn at your former levels as you did before the accident
- Other medical expenses, including the cost of emergency room care, visits to a doctor or specialist, physical therapy, surgeries, hospitalizations, and more
- Out-of-pocket costs, such as for medical assistive devices and more
These losses may have affected you in the past, and they could go on affecting you well into the future. We will work to estimate the cost of your future care in addition to covering the costs of your losses immediately following the accident. This way, you will not have to worry about how you will pay for upcoming expenses related to your injuries.
When you face physical and mental injuries
The accident may have affected your physical health as much as it has affected your psychological health. If that is the case, we will also work to understand the nature of your physical injuries and the cost of treating your other health conditions that resulted from the accident.
What is the process of seeking compensation for PTSD-related damages?
Typically, we will begin your case as an insurance claim. Proceeding through this route often allows us to come to a fair settlement agreement in the shortest amount of time. However, we may suggest taking your case to court for several reasons.
During our partnership, you can expect our team to help you by:
Proving your losses and liability
Every injury case should be based on solid evidence, and that is especially true for cases involving intangible damages such as PTSD. We will begin by thoroughly investigating your case to build compelling evidence to prove that the liable party owes you compensation for your damages.
Additionally, we will need to prove that the other party was liable for your damages. While you may think you know who caused your accident, keep in mind that the liable party could be different from the at-fault party. The liable party is the entity that is responsible for paying you, while the at-fault party is the person (or persons) who caused your crash.
In a car accident case (for example), we may determine many parties could have harmed you, including:
- Vehicle drivers
- Truck drivers
- Trucking companies
- Parts or vehicle manufacturers
- Construction crews, if debris or other construction site issues led to your accident
- And more
Negotiating a settlement with an insurance company
After we submit our demand letter to the liable party’s insurance company, we will begin the negotiations process. The insurance company could agree to our demand amount, or the conversation may take more time, and we may have to negotiate a settlement amount.
This is not something that you need to be part of if you choose to work with a lawyer from our team. We will keep you informed of any changes or offers, but we can handle everything at the negotiating table for you.
Advising you on your options
Even though an insurance claim settlement can often be the most efficient option for all involved in the case, we may advise filing a lawsuit for many reasons.
- The insurance company refuses to make a fair offer.
- The insurance policy of the liable party will not be sufficient to cover your losses.
- The driver or other liable party may not carry insurance coverage.
If you are dealing with an uninsured driver or another party, we will advise you on the likelihood of seeking a recovery through a lawsuit.
We can gather evidence for a PTSD lawsuit settlement
In the hypothetical cases we listed above, neither victim could have sought a PTSD settlement without convincing evidence. The stronger your evidence, the more likely you will be able to seek the fair settlement you deserve.
If we work on your case, we would gather evidence to show that:
- You had or have PTSD as a result of the accident.
- You suffered losses while you struggled or continue to struggle with PTSD.
However, gathering this evidence can be more complicated than you may think. We will work with mental health experts to learn more about your situation and gather the necessary information.
We can prove you have PTSD
When you have a broken arm or a fractured skull, these physical injuries are much clearer to prove. Psychological and invisible injuries that may stem from the accident can be harder to demonstrate, however.
We will use the following forms of evidence to prove your PTSD diagnosis and to show the effects of your suffering:
- Testimony from your doctors
- Medical records
- Testimony from experts in PTSD
- Testimony from your family members or others close to you
- Any journal entries or notes about your PTSD after the accident
Sometimes, testimony from experts can be crucial in proving that your PTSD diagnosis was accurate and that you did not have PTSD from some other event outside of the accident. Expert testimony can validate your existing diagnosis and show that your suffering is as you say it is.
This is another reason why you may wish to work with a lawyer from our team if you want to recover compensation for PTSD after an accident. We have contacts with medical expert witnesses and experience building cases like these.
We can demonstrate the extent of your losses
We will also need to show that having PTSD left a negative impact on your life, which could mean financial and non-financial consequences.
So, if you had a difficult time driving or avoided driving altogether after the accident, we will work to prove that PTSD challenged your everyday routine. If you had to pay to treat your PTSD, this expense can also be part of the evidence in your case.
In other words, we will demonstrate the many ways that PTSD may have affected your life and your finances—and seek fair compensation.
You have treatment options if you have PTSD
The signs and symptoms of PTSD may appear soon after the accident or even years following the event, according to Mayo Clinic. If you’re experiencing troublesome thoughts and face challenges with your everyday life due to PTSD, you may wish to seek out treatment options—if you are not doing so already.
According to Mayo Clinic, your doctor may advise you to pursue:
You may be able to make progress through talk therapy, which involves observing negative or unhelpful thought patterns connected to your experience of trauma. You may even be advised to undergo exposure therapy, which can allow you a supportive way of engaging with driving or a situation similar to your accident.
Exposure therapy could also help you address troublesome flashbacks and nightmares.
Doctors or counselors may recommend medication to treat anxiety, depression, and nightmares associated with PTSD.
You could benefit from other forms of support, such as support groups. You may also wish to seek out supportive friends and family members during the recovery and treatment process.
Many of these methods of treating PTSD come with a price tag. However, these are costs that could be recovered through a PTSD claim or lawsuit.
We advise that you seek out and follow through with advised treatment, even if you have concerns about the costs of therapy or necessary medication. By stopping your recommended treatment, you could give an insurance company room to argue that your symptoms were not as severe as you claim.
How can a lawyer help me with my case?
PTSD-related damages can be complicated to prove. While your suffering and losses may be relatively straightforward to you, proving that someone owes you money for intangible or psychological damages is another matter.
Beyond this, you may wish to seek our help because:
- You don’t want to handle challenges to your case on your own.
- You do not want to be traumatized further by revisiting the details of your case.
- You want legal advice through the process of a claim or lawsuit.
- You do not have the time or energy to deal with a PTSD settlement on your own.
We will handle every step of your case for you. If the insurance company pushes back and tries to challenge your compensation case, we will work to prove that you deserve financial recovery.
We can handle the complications of a claim for you
Unfortunately, the other party may try to argue that you are not owed the compensation you deserve or otherwise deny your claim.
We can handle these challenges for you, including claims from the insurance company that:
- You do not have PTSD.
- PTSD did not affect your life as severely as you claim.
- Other injuries you may have are not as serious as you say.
- You are more responsible for the accident than you were.
- You made statements on social media that suggest you aren’t as hurt by PTSD as you claim.
- Any recorded statement you may have made proves that you were at fault.
Tactics such as these can be used to lower your settlement value or deny your case altogether. We have experience handling these kinds of challenges through the claims process, and we can deal with these matters for you.
Why work with The Dixon Injury Firm?
At The Dixon Injury Firm, we are prepared to help you with your PTSD lawsuit settlement in the St. Louis area.
You may want to work with us because:
- We know the St. Louis area: We are familiar with the locations and roadways where drivers may encounter serious accidents, such as Grand Avenue, the Delmar Loop, and beyond. We can use our knowledge of the local area to produce compelling evidence for your case.
- We have a record of results for personal injury victims: We have secured multi-million dollar awards and settlements for past clients. We will work hard for your case’s results, too.
- We offer representation at no upfront cost: We will get to work on your case without any hourly rates or retainers involved. We work based on contingency, meaning that we only get paid if we win for you.
What is the average PTSD settlement in Missouri? | St. Louis PTSD settlement lawyers
If you are ready to file a PTSD claim but need more information about the average PTSD settlements in Missouri, consult a lawyer first and foremost. An experienced lawyer can provide insight on the average compensation for people living with PTSD in Missouri, create a strong claim for your case, and offer support to your family during this confusing time.
Christopher Dixon and the St. Louis PTSD lawyers at The Dixon Injury Firm understand how difficult it is to live with PTSD after a traumatic accident, and we are dedicated to recovering the most compensation for your claim.
Connect with our firm today
Our experienced attorneys can fight for compensation of present and future damages related to your condition and push against the insurance company to recover the highest Missouri PTSD settlement. The National Trial Lawyers Association recognized Chris Dixon as a “Top 100 Trial Lawyer,” and he has recovered more than $35,000,000 in settlements and recoveries for injury claims in Missouri.
For more information on how Christopher Dixon and his Missouri personal injury lawyers can recover damages for your PTSD claim in St. Louis, call (314) 208-2808.
The Dixon Injury Firm
9666 Olive Blvd #202,
St. Louis, MO 63132