Is it worth going to trial for PTSD after bad wreck where a truck hit us ?

Asked over 1 year ago - Birmingham, AL

Our lawyer says juries don't give money for that. My college student son rarely drives since the wreck, none of us can drive interstates or around big trucks. Everyone is in therapy. He says we should focus on the one child who has physical scars.

Attorney answers (7)

  1. David B Pittman

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    9

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You should discuss this with your lawyer. Especially if your son has received counseling and had suffered emotional distress. You need to be comfortable and have a trust level with your attorney. Make sure,you have that as this is your one chance to get compensated for your losses. You need a lawyer who is going to be aggressive and fight for everything your family has lost.

  2. Kevin Coluccio

    Contributor Level 20

    8

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . This is an issues you need to discuss carefully with your attorney. There are many important factors to considered that your attorney would know about.

  3. Seth Raven Carroll

    Pro

    Contributor Level 12

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Juries in Virginia absolutely recognize the extreme emotional impact of PTSD, and the cost of treatment in their awards.

    Seth Carroll is licensed to practice in Virginia only. The preceding is for information only and should not be... more
  4. Larry Alan Apfelbaum

    Contributor Level 13

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Your lawyer is in the best position to now your son's case. Without knowing about his medical and psychiatric treatment, we cannot give you any thoughts on the merits of his case. I would however that juries often do not award substantial damages for PTSD unless professional help is sought and the doctor/psychiatrist is willing to support the claim in court.

    If you question the attorney's advice you can seek a second opinion. Good luck

  5. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . That's not true, and bad advice. If you are not getting proper representation, you can switch lawyers at any time by sending a termination letter. Find a lawyer with a low contingency fee, less than 30%, so you get the lion’s share of the settlement, not your lawyer. Thus, don’t get hurt twice by paying a huge fee. Good luck.

    Only 29% Contingency Fee! Phone: 215-510-6755 www.InjuryLawyerPhiladelphia.com
  6. Sagi Shaked

    Pro

    Contributor Level 13

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Don't be scared to go to trial if you have a true injury and a good lawyer. Make sure your lawyer knows trucking and is board certified.

  7. Peter M Gorski

    Contributor Level 4

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Unfortunately you provide no information regarding the level of experience and knowledge your attorney has in trucking accident litigation. I agree with the others that say you have a right to a second opinion, as well as the right to terminate the services of your current attorney. Be sure that whoever else you consult has experience with actual trucking accident litigation, which have rules, regulations and the need for a specialized skill and knowledge base, which is very different from attorneys that handle routine car crash cases. I DISAGREE with the attorney that recommended you seek a "discount lawyer" who charges less that 30% fee. That indicates to me someone who does not understand what is required to properly prepare a trucing litigation case. I would search for an Alabama attorney who is a member of the "AAJ (American Association for Justicce), Truking Accident Litigation Group"!
    The second thing you don't mention is whether suit has already been filed, and if so how far along are is your attorney in preparing the case for trial. Whereas if you do not have a well-credentialled treating psychologist who has made the diagnosis of PTSD, and offered opinions regarding the severity of the condition, future medical/counseling care which he/she will willingly testify to , and relating it to the collsision, then your PTSD claim(s) may well may not be given much credence by the trucking insurance company claims manager who will decide how much to pay. I agree with the comment that juries may award significant damages in certain PTSD damage cases, but that is a highly fact specific issue, which includes the types and professional credentials of your experts or treaters who made the diagnosis. For instance if you have a treating or expert witness in the field of neurology who can demonstrate to a jury obvious damages to a portion of the brain via diagnostic images, e.g., MRI, CT, MRA, etc. this evidence would go a long way to eliminate juror's natural inclination to believe that if they can not "see"the injury, you are probably faking .In addition to experts, it would be important for your family to come up with several "lay" witnesses, i.e., NOT Expert witnesses, who casn persuasively convince the jury that the collision-related injuries have made a major difference in the activities and behavior of each of your family members from BEFORE the collision, and AFTER the accident to the present time. Such lay witnesses should not be family members, or anyone perceived to be "strectching the truth" in order to help you prove your claim. These lay witnesses must be people whose honestly and integrity are beyond reproach, and could be for example a work supervisor, minister, teacher, etc.Finally, your attorney will need to take the time to thoroughly educate him or herself on the structural anatomy of the brain, what the "mechanism of injury" most likely is that caused the condition to result from the collision-realated trauma.
    If your attorney(s) have assembled a strong array of expert and lay witness testimony, brain imaging studies and psych or neuropshylogiy reports and other admissible documentation to establish the extent of harms and losses this accident has caused each of you, then you should have a fair change of a good recovery at trial (assuming the big truck was clearly negligent and that there are not too many negative issues on "your side of the ledger". This could include the need for each family member to disclose relevant medical, psychological and counseling records which may exist and contain embarrasing or evidence that there were reproted siilar problemss before the date of this collision. It is likely a multifactorial evaluation of pros and cons that the attornney should assist you in evaluating before committting to a final decision on how to proceed. Financial costs of your various options should not be ignored in this evaluation.
    Peter Gorski, Chandler, AZ

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