Estimating Compensation for a PTSD Claim

Estimating Compensation for a PTSD Claim

Steven Schwartzapfel -Founding Partner Sep 9, 2022

For more than 35 years, Steven Schwartzapfel, the founding member of Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C., has been one of New York’s most prominent personal injury attorneys. Steve represents clients in all types of personal injury cases. His experience, skill, and dedication have enabled Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C. to recover hundreds of millions of dollars for their clients.

Regardless of whether you’re physically injured in an auto accident, construction accident, or another traumatizing incident, you may feel the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Even if PTSD doesn’t always have outward physical symptoms, it can negatively affect accident victims in more ways than one.

In some cases, accident victims may have grounds to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party for PTSD-related damages. Should your accident lawsuit be successful, how much compensation can you expect?

Read on for answers or contact Schwartzapfel Lawyers at 1-800-966-4999 for more information and a free case evaluation.

What Is PTSD?

PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder, is a mental health condition or psychiatric disorder characterized by:

  • An inciting traumatic event, such as a serious accident, natural disaster, violent incident, assault, etc.
  • Subsequent symptoms that can be physical and/or mental in nature

PTSD is a distinct phenomenon, and it can occur to anyone of any ethnicity, culture, nationality, or age. PTSD affects about 3.5% of all US adults each year. 1 in 11 people will be diagnosed with PTSD and their lifetimes, and women are twice as likely as men to have PTSD.

When someone has PTSD, they may relive past trauma through very real-feeling memories and/or sensations. They may also experience symptoms or side effects when they are exposed to stimuli that remind them (consciously or subconsciously) of the traumatic incident in question.

PTSD may lead to the development of symptoms including but not limited to:

  • Intrusive symptoms like repeated and involuntary memories or flashbacks
  • Nightmares
  • Automatic behavior to avoid people, activities, places, objects, or situations
  • Cognition and mood alterations, like frequent frustration, shame, irritation, and more
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Angry outbursts
  • Difficulty concentrating

PTSD can range from mild to severe. In many cases, PTSD can cause victims to drastically change their lifestyles as they recover and seek treatment.

What Can Cause PTSD?

PTSD can be caused by any traumatic event. What can be traumatizing for one person may not be traumatizing for another and vice versa. PTSD can be caused by incidents including but not limited to:

Notably, any event that causes physical or psychological harm can lead to PTSD symptoms. Moreover, those who suffer from PTSD may be able to recover compensation from those at fault for the inciting incidents under some circumstances.

For more on this and related topics, call Schwartzapfel Lawyers now at 1-800-966-4999. Even better than your consultation being free, the advice you receive may save you miles of headache, heartache, and financial strain down the road.

Average PTSD Settlement Amount

Because PTSD symptoms vary, there is no “average” PTSD settlement amount. PTSD settlement amounts can vary wildly depending on many important factors, including how much negligence or fault is assigned to the defending party in a lawsuit.

Furthermore, because PTSD involves a large mental component, proving PTSD symptoms or damages can be more difficult compared to proving physical injuries or damages, such as a broken bone.

Factors Affecting PTSD Lawsuit Settlements

PTSD lawsuit settlements can range from hundreds of dollars to thousands of dollars to millions of dollars based on a series of factors, some of which are outlined below.

Extent and Severity of Injuries

The extent and severity of any injuries you sustained in the same incident that caused your PTSD can impact your damages. For example, if you sustain a head injury and develop PTSD after an auto accident, that head injury will likely help to increase your damages from a guilty or negligent party.

The same is true for other injuries, such as lacerations, organ damage, spinal damage, and more.

Loss of Future Income/Lost Potential

If your PTSD has resulted in lost income, or if it is projected to result in lost income in the future/lost earning potential, you may have grounds for additional damages.

For instance, if your PTSD prevents you from going to work or from working in your current environment in the future, you could be compensated for that lost income and the lost time you spent developing your skills in the industry where the incident occurred.

Pain and Suffering

Successful lawsuits may also result in compensation or damages awarded for individual pain and suffering, wherein an attempt is made to measure the discomfort and/or pain experienced both during and after the injuring incident. However, you should note that not all lawsuits result in pain and suffering damages.

To learn more now, speak with a Schwartzapfel Lawyers PTSD attorney by dialing 1-800-966-4999.

Other Effects of PTSD

If your PTSD has resulted in any other negative effects, you could be compensated for those effects as well. For example:

  • If you lost your job because of PTSD, you could be compensated for lost income and for job training to help you find employment in the future.
  • If you lost your relationship because of PTSD, you could be compensated for loss of companionship.
  • If your PTSD has led you to experience repeated psychological stress from unavoidable social situations or other life events, you may be compensated for this depending on the severity of that stress (and what you can prove in court).

Remember, the effects of PTSD differ on a person-to-person basis. Therefore, even rare effects may qualify you for additional compensation depending on how they affect your everyday life.

Punitive Damages

Lastly, some PTSD claims result in punitive damages being levied against the negligent or at-fault party. Punitive damages, however, are rare; unlike compensatory damages, they are intended to punish the negligent party rather than directly compensate you for your losses.

Punitive damages are only applied in cases where the defending party can be proven to have been malicious or acted extremely negligently. In general, you should not expect to recover punitive damages for your PTSD claim.

How To Prove PTSD and Recover Damages

You can file a PTSD claim against an at-fault or negligent party, including another individual, your employer, a business, the government, and/or other entities. However, the process of filing a successful PTSD claim can be both lengthy and complex.

Speak To Legal Professionals

Your first step to recovery, regardless of case specifics, should be to speak to experienced legal professionals. Personal injury attorneys specializing in PTSD claims will have the skills and knowledge necessary to help your case succeed. Specifically, they can:

  • Provide legal advice regarding when and how you should file your lawsuit
  • Tell you whether your lawsuit has grounds to recover damages
  • Assist in evidence collection and presentation
  • And more!

With 150+ years of collective experience, Schwartzapfel Lawyers is a great choice for your PTSD claim. Our team will look at your evidence, provide sound legal counsel, and work with you throughout the process. More importantly, we’ll stick by you no matter what; we fight for each of our clients and won’t rest until we get you the money you are entitled to.

As well, because we operate on a contingency fee basis, you won’t ever have to worry about paying us a penny unless we first recover damages from your lawsuit. For a free case evaluation and more, contact us today at 1-800-966-4999.

Gather Evidence

Next up, gathering evidence is critical to proving that your PTSD both exists and has negatively impacted your life. This may seem obvious but can be difficult given PTSD’s primarily mental nature.

There are, however, ways to amass evidence sufficient to proving negligence on behalf of another party as well as the injuries and/or negative symptoms that they are liable to cover.

Depending on the circumstances of your case, your lawyers may try to gather different types of evidence to prove both your PTSD’s existence and its exact symptoms and/or effect on your life. These evidence types may include:

  • Medical evidence linking your PTSD to physical injuries. These include paper trail documents like X-ray forms, doctors’ notes, prescription refills, and so on.
  • Any medical bills associated with PTSD. Medical bills can include bills for support animals, prescription medications, alternative therapies, psychological counseling, and more.
  • Written notes detailing how your condition has impacted your life or ability to work. For example, notes from your supervisor or boss, financial records showing lost wages, or job retraining forms can all serve as vital evidence in proving how your PTSD has negatively affected your life.
  • Relationship evidence showing how your PTSD has impacted your social wellness. For example, divorce forms or forms for couples counseling can indicate that your PTSD has impacted your relationships negatively and warrants consideration and/or compensation.

Your legal team will tell you what types of evidence they wish to gather and provide to the court or judge based on your case’s circumstances. For more on this, visit Schwartzapfel Lawyersonline or call us now at 1-800-966-4999.

File Lawsuit

With the help of an experienced legal team, you will want to file a lawsuit for your PTSD claim. Depending on the details of your case, this may happen before, during, or after gathering evidence. Generally, however, you must file your lawsuit within (3)years of the incident that caused your symptoms. Note: The same statute of limitations applies for personal injury lawsuits in the state of New York.

Because of this strict time limit, it’s vital that you contact knowledgeable attorneys right away. The right legal team can streamline the lawsuit process, ensure necessary materials are filedcorrectly, and maximize your chances of recovering as much monetary compensation as possible.

Contact Schwartzapfel Lawyers Today

Ultimately, you could recover compensation for a variety of factors due to your PTSD, including lost income, associated medical bills, pain and suffering, and more. However, you’ll be more likely to recover significant damages if you have veteran legal representatives at your side.

With decades of experience handling PTSD and similar injury claims, Schwartzapfel Lawyers is the best choice for your case, whether you experienced an auto accident, construction site accident, or something else.

Please, don’t go through the legal process alone. You don’t need to, nor should you. Instead, take the first step toward financial recovery by contacting Schwartzapfel Lawyers today. Simply dial 1-800-966-4999 for a free case evaluation and so much more.


Schwartzapfel Lawyers, P.C. | Fighting For You – What is Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)? |

NIMH » Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder | National Institutes of Health

Punitive damages | Wex | US Law | LII / Legal Information Institute

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