Can personal injury affect mental health?
Besides the physical issues that people have to deal with after being involved in an accident, in many cases there are also mental struggles to overcome. The affect an accident has on mental health can be just as debilitating as the physical injuries or may even be directly caused by them. Mental scars affect people in different ways, and some people will be affected mentally following an accident while others may not.
Physical injuries impacting on mental well-being
The psychological impact a physical injury could have on a person could be in relation to something such as struggling to come to terms with the fact they won’t be able to play with their children the same way as before, or can no longer take them to school or care for them in the way they believe they should be able to. They may be feeling stressed about being unable to work and earn a living for weeks or months on end. These stressful times can also lead to a strain on their relationships with partners, family or friends.
Some common mental conditions that victims of an accident often suffer with as a result of physical injury include anxiety, stress, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and panic attacks.
Pursuing a claim for mental injury
A personal injury claim following an accident tends to focus on the physical injury itself - after all, the extent of a physical injury is much easier to prove than that of mental injury. However, awareness of the importance of caring for our mental health is certainly increasing and this is something that’s incredibly important at a time of trauma following an accidental injury.
Claiming compensation for issues that relate to mental health can be a little tricky as they are often difficult to diagnose, and many victims are often reluctant to seek help due to embarrassment, a sense of pride or a fear of how others may perceive them.
Furthermore, through a personal injury claim, the claimant must prove that a liable party’s negligence has caused the mental issues. This can prove difficult due to the fact that many mental injuries lack the measurable or tangible symptoms and signs that physical injuries display.
For this reason, it’s vital that those suffering mentally following an accident seek advice from a GP, mental health professional or charity. This is important for their health and will work towards putting them on the best path for recovery and can also be used to support a claim for mental injury resulting from the accident.
Those defending against a personal injury claim often state that a mental health injury may have developed after an accident due to another cause, or that a lack of evidence displaying its effects means the injury is not legitimate. However, with the instruction of an expert psychiatrist and supporting medical evidence of the progression of mental health problems, including prescriptions, treatment records etc. it is possible for a victim to successfully seek compensation for expenses relating to mental injury treatment and other damages caused such as a loss of wages and pain and suffering.
Here at Fonseca Law we are experts in personal injury claims and have successfully secured compensation for clients who have suffered through no fault of their own. To discuss your personal injury claim, or to learn more about the range of legal services that we offer, please do not hesitate to contact us by calling 01495 303124, e-mailing email@example.com or by completing our online contact form.