Mental Distress Compensation Claims caused by a Car Accident – Today’s guest blog is by Joel A. Gordon and Associates. The opinions expressed by the author in this and all guest blogs are not necessarily those of Attorney Mark E. Hall.
Car accident victims are entitled to compensation for injuries instigated by the negligence of another driver. Typically, medical bills, lost wages, and cost of vehicle repairs are simpler to document; hence, obtaining monetary reimbursement for these expenses is not very difficult. On the other hand, psychological effects of the harrowing accident are hard to communicate or present. At least one third of survivors from fatal car crashes experience prolonged PTSD, which greatly diminishes the quality of their life. Mental distress in higher among young drivers and females involved in car accidents. Many of them have witnessed death up close, thus they have trouble returning to a normal life.
The devastated emotional state of a person is hard to prove on paper or in any tangible form, but that does not undercut its importance. Wounded emotions are extremely injurious to a person’s health, which is why they should never be ignored. Discuss your situation with a Houston car accident Lawyer to learn if you are are eligible to claim compensation for mental distress or how you can build a case to receive reimbursement for the loss of your mental health.
Symptoms of Mental Distress
Every car accident case is unique and not every person is affected in the same way. Grieving patterns differ from individual to individual. Some people are better at coping with pain and suffering than others. Nonetheless, the following symptoms are frequently observed in car accident survivors going through PTSD:
- Jittery or nervous at all times
- Constant flashbacks of the accident
- Mood swings/sudden outbursts (crying, yelling in rage, getting easily annoyed, etc.)
- Insomnia, interrupted sleep
- Nightmares and intrusive thoughts
- Afraid of driving a car or travelling in one
- Unable to keep up with previous routine and relationships
- Losing interest in things that mattered before
- Solitude or detachment
- Overreacting or exaggerated responses
- Physical problems, such as high blood pressure, sporadic headaches, nausea, and fatigue
Medical research suggests that people with pre-existing mental health conditions are more likely to experience psychological distress after a traumatic incident. However, there is no hard and fast rule with the workings of the mind; anyone can be mentally disturbed after they have underwent a life and death situation.
To authenticate your distress, a personal injury attorney will recommend that you produce records from a therapist you have consulted, prints of psychiatric evaluations, prescriptions for antidepressants or other mood-stabilizing medications, and testimony from credible sources. Your friends and family can provide valuable input by stating their observations regarding your behavior after the accident. If you have been keeping a journal since the accident, your own entries can also reveal aspects of your alarming mental health.
Evaluation of Mental Distress
In a car accident injury claim, lawyers often use what is referred to as a ‘general injuries multiplier’ for assigning a value to mental distress. Victims who have suffered severe physical injuries such as a traumatic brain injury (TBI), amputation, or spinal cord injury receive the highest degree of compensation. Mental and emotional distress connected to such severe physical injuries is deemed genuine. These types of injuries can leave the person disabled or incapacitated for life, depriving them from enjoying several daily activities and any sort of companionship.
Court trials often lead to high rewards to cover punitive damages for the unfortunate victims. If your physical injuries from a car accident were relatively negligible, providing evidence of your mental distress will be challenging. The expertise of a competent personal injury lawyer paired with extensive treatment records from a mental health professional.
If you have been in an automobile accident and would like to speak to an attorney about a compensation claim, contact the law firm of Mark E. Hall.