Traffic accidents and injuries can have a number of emotional and mental health effects on victims. These can range from mild to severe and last for a short time or long term. In this article, New York injury attorneys Glenn and Robin Herman discuss some of the most common effects of car accidents on victims’ mental health.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
One of the most common emotional and mental health effects of car accidents is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD is a condition that can develop after a person experiences a traumatic event, such as a car accident, and is characterized by difficulty recovering from the event in an expected fashion. Symptoms of PTSD can include:
PTSD may last months or years after an accident, and is usually managed with trauma-focused therapeutic techniques and sometimes medication.
Acute Stress Disorder
PTSD is diagnosed when symptoms persist for at least one month following the traumatic incident, but personal injury victims may experience the same debilitating symptoms immediately. When these symptoms inhibit someone’s ability to function, they may qualify for a diagnosis of acute stress disorder.
Various forms of anxiety are also common following car accidents. People who have been in a car accident may experience symptoms of anxiety, such as feeling nervous or agitated, having difficulty sleeping, sweating, and having a racing heart. Anxiety can make it difficult for people to return to their normal activities after a car accident. Furthermore, the lengthy and expensive process of recovering from a car accident, which usually includes costly hospital bills, car repairs or replacements, and navigating insurance claims, can be anxiety-inducing in itself. Personal injury victims should consult an experienced attorney to ensure that they claim the compensation they deserve.
People who have been involved in traffic accidents of any severity may experience feelings of fear around traffic, or while driving a car or riding a bicycle, making it difficult to get to and from important daily activities such as work and school and thus interrupting a car accident victim’s ability to function normally. If left untreated, the natural fearfulness that develops after experiencing an unfortunate accident may develop into a debilitating phobia for some people.
Can You Claim Personal Injury Compensation for Mental Health Effects?
Yes, you can. If a third party was negligent and caused your accident, or if their failure to exercise reasonable care resulted in your injury, then you are legally entitled to compensation for both physical and mental damages. In order to prove that the third party is liable for your emotional distress, however, you must provide evidence of their negligence as well as evidence of the emotional and mental health effects they caused. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you gather the necessary evidence to make a successful case.
Additionally, even if there was no third party involved in your accident, such as in a single-car accident case, depending upon the specific circumstances, for instance, if you were a passenger or there was a roadway defect you may still be able to claim compensation for physical and psychological damages if your insurance policy covers you for these losses. Your attorney can help you evaluate the details of your coverage and assess your eligibility to receive compensation.
About New York City Injury Attorneys Glenn & Robin Herman
Our Bronx Injury attorneys take the time to learn every aspect of your case during our initial meeting in order to properly evaluate the full extent of the damages you or a loved one have suffered. We have been representing seriously injured New Yorkers for over 30 years. Born, raised, and living in the City, we know that when you have been injured in this town, you need an attorney to protect your rights and explain the law to you in a way you can understand.
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We represent clients in all five boroughs of New York (NY): Manhattan, Staten Island, Queens, Brooklyn, and the Bronx, along with Suffolk County & Nassau County on Long Island, Westchester County, Rockland County, and throughout the entire state of New York.
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