Anxiety, Depression & PTSD After a Minnesota Accident
In Minnesota, you have the right to recover damages if you are diagnosed with PTSD, anxiety, or depression after an accident. However, emotional injuries can be challenging to prove and link to an accident since symptoms can take weeks or months to appear.
Can I Recover Damages For PTSD After an Accident?
Minneapolis personal injury victims can recover non-economic damages for PTSD and other emotional injuries. Damages is the legal term referring to the compensation awarded to injury victims after a preventable accident that the defendant is required to pay.
Non-economic damages represent a victim’s intangible and subjective losses (e.g., pain and suffering, emotional distress, etc.), compared to economic damages, which are actual losses (e.g., medical bills, lost income, property damage, etc.). However, when determining a settlement offer for PTSD, an insurance adjuster will generally consider the extent of your injuries and financial losses.
Typically, the greater your medical bills and your injuries’ impact on your life, the more compensation you can recover for PTSD and other psychological conditions. Because non-economic damages can be more challenging to prove to an insurer or the court, hiring a Minnesota Personal Injury Lawyer is often in your best interests. An attorney can help you collect evidence, such as expert testimony, counseling bills, journals, testimony from friends and family, etc., to establish how PTSD affects your wellbeing and daily life.
Are there Limits to Damages For PTSD & Mental Health Ailments in Minnesota?
Yes, but only when it is a workers’ compensation claim or the claim involves the injury or death of a prison inmate or a patient of a state institution under the control of the commissioner of human services or the commissioner of veterans affairs. Then non-economic damages are not available. Minnesota does not limit the amount of damages an injury victim can recover for PTSD and other mental health ailments in most personal injury cases.
Proving Anxiety, Depression, or PTSD Related to an Accident
Unlike a physical injury that can be substantiated with medical bills and lost income, linking a psychological condition to an accident can be much more challenging. The reason is that victims do not always suffer substantial financial losses due to anxiety, depression, or PTSD.
To increase your claim’s chances of success, you must seek medical treatment as soon as possible after an accident, just as you would a physical injury, and again once symptoms begin. Being treated by a general physician, psychologist, therapist, counselor, etc. will provide medical records that can link your mental health ailment to the accident. For example:
- Records from visits to a physician or therapist.
- Insurance claims or receipts of payments for visits to a physician or therapist.
- Notes from your attending physician or therapist.
- Testimony from the attending physician or therapist.
- A list of prescribed medications from your physician or a psychologist and/or the receipts for their purchase.
- Testimony from family members and friends, confirming your mental state and its impact on your life.
Additionally, if you don’t already, your attorney will likely advise you to keep a journal of your day-to-day emotional and physical symptoms, experiences, and any limits on daily activities. All of which can be used as evidence in negotiations with an insurance company or at trial.