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Can You Sue for PTSD from Vehicle Accidents?


Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a debilitating psychological condition triggered by a trauma that is outside our normal life experiences.  While PTSD is frequently associated with returning military veterans, it can develop following a catastrophic accident.   Even a car accident or the death of a loved one – events usually considered ‘normal’– sometimes triggers PTSD.

Flashbacks.  Depression.  Anxiety.  Guilt.  Phobias.  Nightmares.  Withdrawal.  These conditions can lead to a medical diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.   PTSD can adversely affect a person permanently.

As an attorney, every day I am personally involved in fighting for those who are injured as a result of the recklessness and negligence of others.  Catastrophic events that lead to a diagnosis of PTSD can be severe and life-changing.

Proving PTSD in Court.

Mental health professionals recognize post traumatic stress disorder as a mental illness and personality disorder.  And, the law also recognizes that PTSD can diminish a person’s mental capacity and ability to experience a ‘normal’ life.

PTSD may be the basis for various emotional distress claims.  If someone’s recklessness or negligence causes you or a loved one to develop PTSD, the focus of a lawsuit will be based upon expert testimony.

To establish PTSD, your attorney will secure diagnosis from an expert witness – likely a psychiatrist — to testify about and convince the court of four (4) related matters:

  • Injury. You suffered a psychological injury (mental or emotional) as demonstrated by various symptoms.
  • Seriousness. Whether any fatalities were involved in the auto accident or event.
  • Causation. The specific traumatic even triggered that mental or emotional injury.
  • Recoverable Damages. You should be compensated for your treatment and loss of being able to live a ‘normal’ life.

The challenge in a PTSD lawsuit comes from the ‘battle of experts’.  Opposing experts will likely argue that PTSD can only be triggered by some enormous traumatic events related to wars and natural disasters.  The jury will have to decide if the plaintiff’s PTSD claims are genuine.

PTSD Claims for Emotional Distress.

If the jury agrees that the plaintiff’s claim is genuine, the victim deserves full and fair financial recovery from all parties responsible for the damages caused.  You deserve compensation appropriate for the limitations impacting your ability to enjoy a ‘normal’ life.

In addition, your PTSD diagnosis may have implications for other legal matters:

  • Workers’ Compensation claims.
  • Claims against employers under the American with Disabilities Act for failing to accommodate an employee’s PTSD.
  • Social Security Disability.

Some occupations are particularly susceptible to traumatic events – police officers, firefighter, emergency medical technicians, and other first-responders.  But, any high stress or dangerous environment can place workers at risk of developing PTSD. Or, a private traumatic event may result in PTSD.  Each situation is truly unique.

We Help Victims.

The Attorneys at Friend, Levinson & Turner Law are knowledgeable and expert in representing those suffering from PTSD symptoms and automobile accidents.  In particular, PTSD claims are complex and frequently multi-dimensional.  Our attorneys are sensitive to these victims and can even arrange referrals to appropriate support groups.

Insurance companies rely on professional adjusters to negotiate and fight PTSD and auto accident claims.    In order to deal with these professionals, you need a skilled attorney to protect your rights.   We know your rights and the applicable laws.  We are your advocates.  We are expert in negotiating with powerful insurance companies.    Fifty years of experience counts.

We make the legal process as stress-free as possible.  We focus on recovering compensation for you – while you focus upon your physical and emotional recovery.

If you or a loved one is injured or a victim of the negligence of others, please call my office at 312-346-8465 or contact us using the form below.

William J. Turner

William Turner has represented hundreds of working men and women who have been victims of the negligence of others – gaining equitable compensation for the medical expenses and pain and suffering for his clients. He concentrates his practice in the trial of complex personal injury cases, including car and truck accidents, construction mishaps, medical malpractice, dog and animal attacks, nursing home abuse, and slip-and-falls. Additionally, he offers niche counsel and advocacy for workers who are injured on a job.

William has obtained judgements from juries in approximately 150 cases and has secured fair and comprehensive settlements in even more over his career. William Turner has dedicated his professional life to fighting for the rights of those who are injured as a result of the negligent acts of others.

Favorable Outcomes.

Faster Settlements.

Equitable Reimbursements.


The law firm of Friend, Levinson & Turner provides people just like you with practical solutions and representation for their legal needs when faced with a serious personal injury.

We understand and respect the dignity of individuals. We listen, advise, represent and counsel.

We unburden people of the stressful legal matters so they can focus on healing and their recovery. Our client's well-being is our priority.

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