When we consider the option of filing a personal injury claim, what comes to mind most often? Assault, workplace injuries, car accidents, medical malpractice, slips and falls, etc. But what most people fail to realize is that a person or organization can hurt you emotionally and psychologically through gross negligence almost as easily as they can physically harm you. The good news is this: the process for making a personal injury claim for a mental health injury is the same as any other.
Of course, mental health injury claims almost always accompany actual injury claims.
Regardless of the cause of your personal injury, there were consequences that went far beyond a trip to the doctor’s office or time in rehab. Those bills are easily calculated by your attorney and awarded by a judge. More difficult to calculate are future expenses like lost wages, ongoing therapy, and reduced capacity to produce or find a job. And these obstacles to wellness affect mental health as well.
It helps to journalize your thoughts and feelings after an accident, especially when the accident was caused by someone else. You might find yourself unable to perform actions that were once simple. A disability can mean the end of hobbies or outdoor activities, and the resulting psychological and emotional toll can be steep.
There are many types of mental health injuries. Depression is the most common. Anxiety, night terrors, lethargy, and anger issues are all associated symptoms of a mental health injury. These in turn can cause physical manifestations such as nausea, insomnia, loss of appetite, weight loss or weight gain, and even pain!
Although a personal injury victim might well experience these issues in his or her day-to-day life — and is absolutely entitled to fair compensation — providing proof to a judge is another obstacle altogether. How does one calculate mental anguish? It may be an impossible task, but a judge (and sometimes even a jury) must make this difficult decision with the information available.
To optimize the chances for a fair settlement, personal injury victims are strongly advised to seek both medical and psychological treatment for injuries sustained. The aforementioned journal can also provide your personal injury attorney with an invaluable tool with which to show a judge or jury the true extent of those injuries.
Compensation is awarded based on actual bills and medical expenses, damages to physical property, psychological treatment, physical therapy, prescription medication costs, ongoing disability, future bills, and pain and suffering.
Were you the subject of a mental health injury? You may be entitled to fair compensation under the law. Contact a personal injury attorney to request a consultation in order to discuss your circumstances and build a case.