The Personality Disorder Defense in an Accident Case
It is not uncommon for the victims of accidents (plaintiffs) to suffer emotional injuries for which they deserve compensation. However, defense experts will often testify that the victim suffers from a personality disorder that existed before the accident occurred. An experienced New Jersey personal injury law firm knows a number of ways to counter this personality disorder defense.
First, your New Jersey personal injury law firm should research into what supports the findings that the plaintiff has a personality disorder. Was the finding based only on testing by the expert? Perhaps other factors do not support the testing. For instance, persons with personality disorders typically do not perform well in school, work, and social settings generally. If evidence exists that the plaintiff does indeed engage well in these areas, this may invalidate the defense’s argument.
Even if credible evidence supports that the plaintiff had a personality disorder prior to the accident, a New Jersey personal injury law firm can attempt to establish that accident still caused an emotional injury. The DSM-IV-TR (premier psychology diagnosis book of mental disorders) supports that a person with a personality disorder can develop an Axis I mental health disorder, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, from an accident.
Also, mental health evidence exists to support that an accident can aggravate a personality disorder. Personality disorders tend to range from mild to severe. A New Jersey personal injury law firm will argue that whatever mild form of a personality disorder the victim may have had before the incident was greatly aggravated by the accident, and is now severe. Discuss your matter with an experienced New Jersey personal injury law firm to get advice specific to your situation.
Contact the Clark Law Firm, PC, an experienced New Jersey personal injury law firm, today at (877) 841-8855 for a free initial consultation regarding your emotional injury matter.