Why Psychological Distress Matters in Personal Injury Cases

Legal Personal Injury Personal Law

Victims of car accidents caused by other drivers or who get physically hurt due to someone’s negligence at work may also suffer psychological issues as a result. Typically, immediately after a physical injury accident the focus is on problems pertaining to the body, such as a broken arm or vision damage. However, when the victim is medically evaluated with a thorough battery of tests that include possible brain damage or psychological distress, a clearer picture of the extent of problems can be gleaned to provide a basis for a legal claim. Rather than ignoring psychological symptoms, accident victims should mention them to personal injury lawyers as well as doctors when describing the after-effects of an accident, as this could have a distinctive bearing on the case.

Complete evaluation and diagnosis.

Although some accident victims focus more on physical injuries than psychological symptoms, both should be reported to the medical staff in ER or at a doctor’s office. Emotional upsets may seem normal for an accident victim, but certain symptoms can represent more serious disturbances that have resulted from the accident, especially during medical evaluation a few days or weeks after the accident. What starts out as a crying spell could turn into chronic depression. Anxiety might lead to increased panic attacks. Anger might lead to hostility, and frustration could evolve into the inability to cope with everyday life. Doctors may order tests to screen for potentially serious psychological disorders stemming from the accident.

Effective treatment and recovery.

Professional diagnosis of mental anguish and related disorders can then result in appropriate treatment and therapy. In time, the victim may completely recover from the psychological symptoms resulting from the accident trauma. Progress should be monitored by medical and psychological experts to ensure the victim receives all available help to deal with this aspect of recovery.

Legal compensation.

As the patient begins to heal and professional treatment is implemented or completed, compensation for psychological injuries will be assessed by personal injury lawyers. If the victim’s problems can be proven with the help of reliable evidence to support the claim of psychological trauma, emotional distress damages may be added into the legal claim. Much will depend on the victim’s diagnosis, treatment, and recovery as supported by expert witnesses and reliable medical documentation.

Emotional suffering, extended grief, mood swings, and personality changes may signal psychological harm resulting from the personal injury accident. A personal injury lawyer has the skill and experience to help accident victims determine whether psychological damages can become part of the legal claim. A complete evaluation will be needed and medical records obtained to help make that determination.

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