How to Recognize a Psychological Injury After an Accident
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Phillip Chupik with Metier Law Firm.
After a significant trauma, such as a car accident, it is not uncommon for the victim to experience cognitive and emotional symptoms in addition to physical ones. In some cases, these symptoms may be one in the same. For example, mental-physical psychological injuries occur when a survivor’s psychological stress is so severe that it causes a physical injury.
Psychological injuries can have just as much impact on an accident victim’s life as physical damage. In fact, psychological injuries may linger even after the body has healed. This is why it’s important to recognize psychological injuries as soon as possible in order to begin seeking treatment and working toward a complete recovery of both the body and mind.
A psychological injury after trauma may manifest in the following symptoms:
- Seemingly unfounded anger or irritability
- Mood swings
- Denial or disbelief
- Withdrawing from family and social relationships
- Mentally reliving the incident (i.e. flashbacks)
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Feelings of numbness
- Constant fatigue
- Becoming easily startled or agitated
- Difficulty concentrating
- Hyper-focus on mortality or death
- Losing interest in previously enjoyed activities
- Muscle tension
- Exhibiting infantile behavior, if the trauma was experienced by a child
- Playacting the traumatic incident, if the trauma was experienced by a child
Family members may be the first to notice the extent of these symptoms.
Unfortunately, the trauma victim themself may not be the first to realize the extent of their psychological injury. Whenever a psychological injury symptom interferes with daily life after an accident, the merits of that injury and options for recovery need to be investigated. If you recognize symptoms of a psychological injury in yourself or a loved one, reach out to a mental health professional for support, and consider contacting a personal injury attorney to discuss your options for financial recovery.
A successful accident claim may include damages for psychological injury, but can be hard to prove.
Whenever someone suffers as the direct result of another party’s negligent or intentional conduct, it may be possible to file a personal injury claim to seek recovery. In the event of lasting trauma induced in a car wreck, a car accident attorney can help assess not only the economic damages like medical bills and lost wages, but can also look into non-economic damages that might be relevant in the event of a psychological injury.
Accident victims suffering from a psychological injury may require ongoing therapy and may struggle to return to daily life in both work and home environments. When this is the case, an attorney can collaborate with the victim’s mental health professional to establish what kind of psychological injury occurred, how to prove it, as well as what kind of treatment will likely be required for the victim to work toward recovery. A successful accident claim can compensate for all of these expenses.
To learn more about psychological injuries or for help filing a claim, reach out to a personal injury attorney in your area.