Almost 30,000 deaths occur per year duet o car crashes in America, while more than 2 million get injured. To compensate for the caused by these accidents, victims involved can file claims for personal injury. The most common type of personal injury claim is for the physical injuries sustained by the victim.
However, victims can also claim for psychological injury after a car accident. Accidents can also cause mental distress and damages that can be quite serious. These damages include Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), and depression to name a few. Victims can file a claim to compensate for the suffering.
Psychological Injuries Are Genuine Injuries
The brain is composed of neurons, hormones, and chemical connections that flow smoothly for humans to function. However, this process can be interrupted if there is a disturbance. The stress hormone increases when the body experiences traumatic incidents. It is only natural to become stressed after a car accident. However, stress can develop into a serious psychological condition.
Much like physical damages, psychological injuries also impair the way you live. Emotional injuries are genuine injuries, even though you cannot see them. You should not allow insurance companies to downplay the psychological injuries you might suffer due to the accident.
Common Types of Psychological Distress After an Accident
Psychological distress or “mental anguish” is emotional distress suffered after a traumatic event. Most accident victims experience emotional distress on varying degrees. If you’ve been in an accident, you might have felt different emotions that occurred during or after the accident.
The most common psychological distress are the following:
The psychological status of the victim might worsen if psychological distress is not managed well. The accident may cause the victim to develop PTSD, anxiety, and clinical depression.
Proving Your Psychological Injury Claim
Psychological injury varies from one person to another. The strength of the claim for psychological injury depends on the evidence presented by the claimant. It cannot be seen, unlike physical injuries. Thus, psychological injury can be difficult to diagnose, and prove, making insurance companies reluctant to award such claims.
For you to claim compensation, you must substantiate your claim. No insurance company will release a check if you cannot substantiate it. First, seek medical attention to assess your psychological status. Next, attend therapy sessions. Lastly, keep a record of all the necessary documents.
Seeking medical help is not only beneficial for your well-being but also the documentation needed for your psychological injury claim. A thorough examination of a psychologist or physician will help you in proving your psychological injury claim.
Prove how the car accident negatively affected your way of life to get the maximum compensation for pain and suffering. Aside from the psychologist or physician's records, you may also utilize eyewitness accounts to your suffering, evidence of therapy sessions, and things you can no longer do because of emotional distress.
Insurance companies may use the following defenses against your claim:
● You do not have a psychological injury
● You have a pre-existing mental disorder
● Something triggered the condition other than the car accident
Note that the severity of the physical injuries does not equate to the severity of the psychological injuries. Some insurance companies like to downplay the latter. They might state that since physical injury is minimal, the psychological injury must be the same. It does not work that way. Psychological injuries are not directly related to physical injuries.
Compensation for Psychological Injuries
Psychological injuries are usually called the “pain and suffering” claim. Since the law classifies pain and suffering as damage, you can recover compensation for such. During the claim, the plaintiff must prove the emotional distress the accident has caused them.
In seeking psychological injury compensation, you may include in your claim the therapy expenses, medications, and loss of wage due to your psychological condition. Factors that can increase compensation are fatalities, traumatic brain injuries, disfigurement of the face and body, and amputation.
A lawyer can help you measure the severity of your psychological claim and the amount of time needed for treatment. Getting a lawyer can help you get the maximum compensation for pain and suffering. Know that the amount of compensation depends on how effective you are in proving psychological distress.
New York classifies psychological trauma as a serious injury qualified for insurance claims. California classifies psychological injury as “pain and suffering”, qualifying it as part of accident compensation. The same is true for Minnesota.
It is vital to find a lawyer in the area where the accident happened. For example, if you were involved in an accident in Duluth, Georgia, hire a Duluth car accident lawyer to start the claim process immediately.
Being a victim of a car accident does not only affect you physically but psychologically as well. Accidents like this can lead you to develop anxiousness, guilt, frustration, and trauma. If not managed, then it might turn into anxiety or depression. Your psychological distress also entitles you to damages from a car accident, even if your injuries were minor. Know your rights as a victim of a car accident, and do not forget to seek medical and legal help if needed.