Emotional Injuries After a Motor Vehicle Collision
After the trauma of acar accident, it is common for people to experience some degree of PTSD. Many of our clients, after they have been injured in an accident, express a fear of driving or even riding as a passenger in a car driven by someone else.
Those who have been injured as a result of someone else’s mistake may be the most fearful of all, knowing that this can happen at any time and they don’t have any control over it due to the actions of irresponsible drivers who may be texting while driving, talking on their cell phones, eating, or just not paying attention and obeying the rules of the road.
Even those who have been involved in a minor collision may experience apprehension about driving and feel anxiety and fear every time they get behind the wheel. Some people do okay around town where the speeds are slower, but feel great fear while on highways or merging onto interstates.
Mental and emotional injuries including PTSD are personal injuries for which you may receive compensation. PTSD can become paralyzing if left untreated. These invisible injuries can lurk under the surface for months or even years for those who do not receive help.
What are the Evidences of Emotional Injuries After an Accident?
People with mild cases of PTSD may experience unreasonable fear, anxiety, crying, anger, loss of appetite leading to weight loss, weight gain, lack of energy, sexual dysfunction, mood swings, nightmares, and sleep loss.
How to Prove Emotional and Mental Injuries Including PTSD
Your own testimony combined with documented evidence from health care providers can prove you have truly suffered mental anguish as a result of the collision. Many people with mild symptoms don’t seek professional treatment, but those with true PTSD must have a mental health provider testify to that diagnosis.
How Juries and Insurance Providers View Emotional Injuries
First, think about how you would view someone’s claim of emotional injuries if you were the juror. Most people can identify with fear and would find it easy to accept a person’s claim of mental injuries and fearfulness if the claims are in proportion to the severity of the accident and the physical injuries suffered as a result of the car accident.
If the claims are way out of proportion to the facts of the accident, the claimant will lose credibility with both the insurance company and the jurors. If a person who claims suffering extreme fear and mental anguish, but never sought treatment, that person would be taken less seriously than one who pursued finding help and recovery.
If a person is found to have suffered true PTSD as a result of seeing a loved one hurt or even killed in a motor vehicle accident, this certainly would increase the demand for compensation for increased medical bills, lost wages, and the need for future treatment.
Additional Helpful Resources:
WebMD: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms and Treatments
Answers to Your Accident Questions
Should I use Facebook or other Social Media if Considering an Injury Claim?
If you wait, it may be too late
Mental and Emotional Injuries from a Car Wreck
Jeffery Robinette was admitted to practice law in 1991 and is licensed in all levels of state and federal trial courts in West Virginia. Mr. Robinette is also licensed in all state and federal appeals courts in West Virginia and the United States Supreme Court. As a National Board Certified Trial Attorney who has handled hundreds of motor vehicle, injury, and construction defect claims and a leading author on insurance claims settlement issues and difficulties in West Virginia, Jeff Robinette is uniquely qualified to represent your best interest.