Experiencing a serious accident can often result in not only physical injuries, but also psychological and emotional injuries. While these types of injuries are not visibly seen, they can still severely impact a victim’s mental and emotional wellbeing. Those who have been impacted by both physical and psychological injuries after an accident can work with an experienced attorney to seek compensation in a personal injury claim.
What Are Psychological Injuries?
Psychological injuries, or also known as emotional or mental injuries, refer to the negative impact of an event or situation on a person’s mental health and emotional wellbeing. These types of injuries can be caused by a variety of circumstances, such as experiencing a serious accident, witnessing a traumatic event, or suffering from assault or harassment. Psychological injuries can have a significant toll on a person’s life and can result in mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as well as general emotional distress.
These symptoms from emotional and mental injuries can create a range of challenges on a victim’s personal and professional life. Those who have a history of mental health conditions are more likely to suffer from psychological injuries after a traumatic event. Professional treatment from a psychologist or therapist can help those who are seriously impacted by psychological injuries and experience debilitating mental health issues.
Common Types of Psychological Injuries After an Accident
After experiencing a traumatic accident, a person may suffer from a range of psychological and emotional injuries that impact their mental health. Some of the most common types of psychological injuries that people experience after an accident include the following:
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: PTSD is a mental health condition that can develop after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares, severe anxiety, and avoidance of triggers that remind the person of the traumatic event.
- Anxiety and Depression: Anxiety and depression are common psychological injuries that can result from an accident. Trauma and stress caused by an accident can heighten anxiety and depression in those who have been diagnosed by a mental health professional. These mental health conditions can cause a person to feel sad, hopeless, and overwhelmed, and may affect their ability to function in daily life.
- Emotional Distress: Emotional distress describes a range of psychological symptoms, including feelings of stress, anxiety, depression, and fear. These symptoms can be triggered by the accident itself, or by the ongoing stress of dealing with the aftermath of the accident.
- Trauma: Trauma can result after a person experiences an emotionally disruptive or life-threatening situation or event, causing a person’s sense of safety and security to be lost. This can lead to feelings of helplessness, distrust, and intense fear of activities related to the accident.
These are just a few examples of emotional and psychological injuries after a traumatic accident, however every person responds differently to traumatic events. The types and severity of psychological injuries can vary widely depending on the person.
Damages Available for Psychological Injuries
In personal injury cases, injured victims may seek compensation for the harm they have suffered as a result of another party’s negligence. Psychological injuries can be a factor in personal injury claims, given that evidence can be provided to demonstrate the extent of the injuries and that they can be proven to be caused by the accident.
Some of damages that may be available for psychological injuries in a personal injury claim include:
- Medical Expenses: costs of any medical treatment received as a result of psychological injuries, including therapy or counseling sessions.
- Lost Wages: wages that you would have earned if your psychological injuries caused you to miss work or impacted your ability to work.
- Pain and Suffering: compensation for emotional pain and suffering experienced as a result of psychological injuries.
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life: compensation for a loss of the ability to enjoy life, such as engaging in hobbies or spending time with loved ones.
- Punitive Damages: intended to punish the defendant for particularly negligent conduct and to prevent others from engaging in similar conduct in the future.
If you have suffered psychological injuries as a result of an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be able to pursue a personal injury claim to seek compensation for your damages. Working with an experienced personal injury attorney can help you understand your legal rights and the options available to you for seeking both economic and non-economic damages.