Pursuing Compensation for PTSD After a Truck Crash

If you're hurt in an accident with a commercial truck, your injuries could be severe, and your medical bills very high. The good news, however, is that the trucking industry is held to high safety standards and regulated not only by state and local laws but also by Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) guidelines. Negligent or intentional violation of such guidelines entitles you to compensation for resulting damages.

More good news is that every party associated with the trucking industry is required to carry liability insurance with much higher coverage limits than the average driver must purchase. That means there should be an adequate amount of insurance available to cover your damages. To collect fair compensation, of course, you must prove liability and convince the insurer or a jury that you're suffering from PTSD.

Who Are the Potential Defendants in a Truck Crash Claim?

Defendants who might bear full or partial liability for your damages in a truck accident include:

  • The truck driver who caused your accident
  • The trucking company, which is responsible for training its drivers and following FMCSA safety regulations
  • A truck or parts manufacturer if equipment failure caused your accident
  • A repair service if the truck was not properly maintained
  • Loading dock personnel if improperly loaded cargo played a role in your crash

These parties might have different insurance companies with which you must file claims. A car accident lawyer can work to identify all liable parties, determine their percentages of responsibility, and demand a fair settlement from each.

Documenting Symptoms of PTSD to Prove Damages

PTSD falls into the category of non-economic damages, as opposed to economic damages like medical bills, lost income, and property damage, which are easy enough to calculate. Pain and suffering are non-economic, as well, but can be proven by your physical injuries and monetarily evaluated with the help of medical evidence. PTSD, however, is a psychological disorder that's hard both to prove and to evaluate due to its lack of external evidence.

The insurance companies of the at-fault parties are likely to dispute, devalue, or deny your claim for PTSD damages because its symptoms are not visible to the eye. This is why you need the services of an experienced truck accident attorney to help you seek fair compensation. Your lawyer can help you prove PTSD and monetize its non-economic damage to you by:

  • Investigating your crash with the help of an accident reconstructionist to show how traumatic the experience of the crash was
  • Using the statements or testimony of mental health professionals as well as family and friends to prove the wreck's impact on your mental health and establish your long-term treatment needs
  • Proving the liability of the defendant(s) by obtaining data from the truck's "black box" recorder and dashboard camera, as well as determining the trucker's hours of service (HOS) from the truck's electronic logging device (ELD)
  • Assigning accurate percentages of fault to multiple defendants
  • Demanding a reasonable settlement from each insurer and negotiating a fair award
  • Taking your case to court and fighting for you at trial if fair insurance settlements are not offered.

Are You Suffering From PTSD After a Charleston, SC Truck Accident?

If you've been hurt in a truck accident, you should speak with an experienced South Carolina truck accident lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Charleston, South Carolina office directly at 843.488.2359 to schedule your consultation. We are also able to meet clients at our ConwayMyrtle Beach, Murrells Inlet, Mt. PleasantNorth Myrtle Beach, Florence, or North Charleston office locations.

Dirk J. Derrick
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South Carolina Lawyer Dirk Derrick helps victims recover from car accidents, personal injury & wrongful death.