If my wife suffers from PTSD after witnessing a fatal car accident where someone died, can she sue the people’s insurance companies for not providing counseling?

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If my wife suffers from PTSD after witnessing a fatal car accident where someone died, can she sue the people’s insurance companies for not providing counseling?

Asked on April 15, 2014 under Personal Injury, Massachusetts

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Your wife can obtain counseling from a psychiatrist or psychologist.  After she completes her medical treatment and is released by the doctor or is declared by the doctor to be permanent and stationary, which means having reached a point in her treatment where no further improvement is anticipated, she can obtain her medical bills, medical reports and documentation of any wage loss.  Her claim filed with the at-fault party's insurance carrier should include these items.

Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document her PTSD and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering, which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.

If the case is settled with the at-fault party's insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.

If your wife is dissatisfied with settlement offers from the at-fault party's insurance carrier, she should reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit against the at-fault party for negligent infliction of emotional distress.

If the case is NOT settled with the at-fault party's insurance carrier, your wife's lawsuit against the at-fault party for negligent infliction of emotional distress must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or your wife will lose her rights forever in the matter.


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