The claims process for accident victims who sustain injuries has been well documented, but few people realize that uninjured witnesses may also have a valid claim for expenses depending on the nature of the accident. For especially traumatizing events or for witnesses who have already struggled in the past with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), mental and emotional suffering can be an unseen consequence for all involved.
Claim awards will be based on an official determination of the severity of the accident, but if a witnesses’ involvement and issues are well-documented, they can confidently make a claim for therapy or counselling after the event.
On the scene
Make sure to speak to responding police officers or EMTs at the scene of the accident to provide your official account and indicate on-record that additional therapeutic care is needed. In some cases, therapeutic assistance is offered by the authorities, and they will be scouring the scene for signs of participants that might be in emotional distress.
Obtain the case identification number for the police report, as this will contain the information necessary for you to begin your case. It can take up to two weeks for a formal police report to be completed. You can either pay a small administrative fee to obtain a copy of the report, or you can initiate a request through your own insurance company, as they can typically obtain these reports at no cost.
On the paper trail
If you had past treatment for PTSD that was triggered by the event, you can obtain paperwork from your treatment specialist to be used as supporting evidence in your claim. If this is your first experience with PTSD, make sure to seek therapeutic help immediately after the accident, while events are still fresh in your mind.
If you are searching for a new therapist, make sure they are listed as either a clinical psychologist or a licensed psychiatrist. Another way to help ensure their services will be covered is to ask if they are eligible care providers under Medicare. Services from non-licensed counsellors such as Life Coaches or Holistic practitioners might not be covered, so be sure you are working with a professional who is already part of the insurance system.
Prescriptions and other expenses
If a healthcare professional determines that you need any type of prescription to cope with PTSD, that prescription must be written by a doctor, not a psychiatrist. Keep documentation of all of your costs with regular doctors’ visits, copays, and prescription costs, as well. You may be asked to complete a form signed by Human Resources or your supervisor documenting any time missed due to doctor’s visits or any authorized leave of absence, as you might want to include lost wages in your claim.
Assemble a team
While you are taking care of your mental and emotional health, make sure you find a dependable legal team to assist you in starting the claims process and inform you on the next steps to take. You can check out online resources such as: https://www.preszlerlaw-ns.com/ to outline the process and provide you with FAQs on procedures specific to Nova Scotia. Make your legal team your first point of contact so that they can negotiate and obtain the necessary paperwork to complete your claim.
After an accident, it is important to take mental and emotional wellness seriously. Just because you cannot see the scars from this type of wound, that doesn’t mean it isn’t vitally important to address and heal. The longer PTSD goes unresolved, the more severe or chronic it can become over time. If you’ve witnessed a disturbing accident, don’t hesitate to get the care you need.