blog home Car Accidents Proving mental distress after a car crash

Proving mental distress after a car crash

By Butler Prather LLP on April 25, 2017

Depending on the facts in an auto accident case, a Georgia resident may be able to recover financial damages for PTSD from the at-fault driver. Such cases need to be filed within the same statute of limitations period that applies to other accident causes of action, unless the statute is tolled due to the plaintiff’s incapacity. While a person may be able to pursue damages for mental distress, it may be harder to prove as there are no visible or other objective indications of such an injury.

To prove that a car accident caused PTSD, an individual would need to show that a doctor made the diagnosis and that it was caused by the car accident. The doctor who makes the diagnosis must be qualified to do so, and it must be shown that the diagnosis was accurate. A defense attorney may try to claim that any mental stress was caused by a previous incident in an accident victim’s life.

However, it may only be necessary to show that symptoms of PTSD were caused by the crash regardless of how severe it may have been. Accident victims should also understand that they get one chance to pursue the case. If PTSD symptoms emerge after a settlement has been reached or a jury verdict obtained, it is unlikely that a person can have the case reopened and ask for additional compensation.

Those who have been involved in motor vehicle accidents may be entitled to compensation for a variety of injuries both physical and emotional in nature. Accident victims may wish to talk with an attorney who may be able to help them prove that another driver’s negligence was the cause of the collision.

Posted in: Car Accidents


I was in a complex premises liability case involving a multinational corporations. Mr. Butler & his associates were always three steps ahead of these defendants. When they say they are "exceptional trial lawyers," this is not just a slogan but it is a way of life.”
- Zack Hendon