Car Accident Injuries Are Not Always Physical
Mental and emotional injuries are not always very apparent after a car accident and can surface after a few weeks or months post the accident. These issues may continue to persist until the victim receives medical treatment.
Symptoms of Mental and Emotional Injuries
Mental and emotional injuries can vary in their severity. Less severe ones are mental anguish, fear, anger, anxiety, shock, or embarrassment. A victim suffering from mild mental and emotional injuries may experience:
- bouts of depression
- loss of appetite
- sexual dysfunction
- severe anger
- disturbed sleep
- mood swings
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
A mild case of mental anguish and depression can go away quickly, and in most cases, without any medical treatment. There are, however, severe cases of mental distress caused by car accidents which require medical and psychological treatment. Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and acute stress disorder are cases of severe mental and emotional injuries. It was generally thought that PTSD affects only soldiers and crime victims; however, it has been medically proven that even victims of car accidents can suffer from PTSD. A victim will continue to play the accident over and over again in their head and will start fearing certain types of driving situations.
Pain and Suffering
The mental and emotional injuries caused by a car accident are covered under the ‘pain and suffering’ clause of a compensation claim. These injuries are required to be proven to a jury. Mild cases can be proven by the victim’s testimony and no medical treatment is required; however, cases of severe mental and emotional distress requires medical attention and can only be proven with medical testimony. For example, a victim of a car accident cannot testify that he or she is suffering from PTSD, only the medical practitioner treating the victim can.
A claim for mental and emotional injuries are generally accepted by insurance companies as long as these claims are not out of proportion with the physical injuries sustained by the victim and the severity of the accident. If a person has been involved in a minor fender bender accident, but complains of severe mental anguish, a claim for pain and suffering will neither be accepted by the insurance company nor by a jury.
If a person has been involved in a serious accident and the mental and emotional injuries claimed are proportional to the physical injuries, the person can be denied compensation if he or she has not received medical treatment for the said mental injuries. It is extremely important to seek medical help if you are a victim of a car accident and have started having mental and emotional problems.
Receiving Compensation for Emotional Injuries
A claim for severe mental injury increases the compensation amount for medical bills and lost earnings, provided the person has taken medical treatment for the same.If you think you deserve compensation for mental and emotional injuries as well, consult a St. Louis car accident attorney from The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. at (314) 361-4242.
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