Personal Injury Mental Health

Personal Injury Mental Health

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Personal Injury Mental Health

Personal injuries, such as car accidents or even slip and falls, can significantly impact your mental health. This is because of the close connection between physical and psychological health. For example, one study found that at least one in three accident victims suffered mental health problems a year after the accident.

The good news is that most mental health problems can be treated if diagnosed early enough. In addition, the victims may be able to obtain compensation if they suffered such problems due to someone else's negligence. So, suppose you or your loved one suffers from mental health problems caused by personal injury. In that case, you should consider speaking with an experienced personal injury attorney specializing in such cases.

What Effects Does Personal Injury Have on Mental Health

Personal injury can have various severe effects on your mental health.
Below are a few examples of such problems.

  • Anxiety and depression caused by a combination of physical pain, stress, and worries about the future.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a mental health condition that can be triggered by traumatic events. Symptoms of PTSD may include flashbacks, nightmares, and severe anxiety.
  • Fear and avoidance, particularly if the injury derives from a horrific event or situation. For example, someone who was injured in a car accident may avoid driving or being a passenger in a car.
  • Difficulty sleeping, due to pain and other physical symptoms associated with personal injury, leading to feelings of fatigue, irritability, and difficulty concentrating.
  • Substance abuse, which occurs when individuals turn to drugs or alcohol to cope with the physical and emotional pain associated with a personal injury. In most cases, this leads to addiction.
  • Social isolation, caused by difficulty participating in social activities, leads to loneliness.
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Get answers to commonly asked questions about our legal services and learn how we may assist you with your case.

Morgan & Morgan

  • Can You Sue for Mental Health Problems?

    Yes, sometimes it is possible to sue for mental health injuries. From a legal standpoint, such injuries usually fall under the umbrella of emotional distress. Various factors can contribute to emotional distress, as discussed below.

    Intentional infliction of emotional distress is a legal ground for the victim to file a claim. This type of injury usually occurs when someone intentionally engages in extreme and outrageous behavior that causes severe emotional distress.

    Negligent infliction of emotional distress can also contribute to mental health problems. Negligence by a medical professional is a good example of a situation that could lead to serious emotional distress for the victim.

    In some cases, personal injury may also cause emotional distress. A good example is when someone gets injured in a car accident and, as a result, experiences significant emotional distress.

  • How Do I Prove Emotional Distress in a Lawsuit?

    Proving emotional distress in a lawsuit can be challenging. This is because emotional distress is a subjective experience that cannot be easily quantified. However, you can take various steps to help support your claim for emotional distress.

    Let's discuss some of these steps.

    Seek medical treatment: If you are experiencing emotional distress, it's important to seek medical treatment. A mental health professional will diagnose and document your condition. This documentation can provide important evidence to support your claim.

    Keep a journal: A journal of your emotions and symptoms after a personal injury can help you document your experience and provide valuable evidence to support your claim. Since mental health problems are not that easy to quantify, you will need to go the extra mile to express how you feel, even if it means keeping everything in writing.

    Gather witness statements: Witnesses, such as friends or family members, can provide statements about specific changes they have observed in your behavior, demeanor, and personality due to the emotional distress.

    Document the cause of your emotional distress: Do you remember what caused your emotional distress? If so, collect as much information about it as you can. This may include but is not limited to emails, text messages, photos, and videos.

    Provide expert testimony: A mental health professional can provide expert testimony about the nature and extent of your emotional distress. They can also explain its impact on your life.

    Prepare yourself for deposition and trial: Be prepared to answer questions about your emotional distress during depositions and at trial. An experienced attorney can help you practice explaining your symptoms and how they have impacted your life.

  • What Damages Can I Recover in an Emotional Distress Lawsuit?

    If you are successful in an emotional distress lawsuit, you may be able to recover the following damages:

    Compensatory damages to compensate you for the harm you have suffered. This can include damages for the emotional distress you have experienced and any financial losses you have incurred due to the emotional distress.

    You may also recover medical expenses if you seek medical treatment for your emotional distress.

    If you missed work due to your emotional distress, you might be able to recover damages for any lost wages or income.

    In addition, you can recover damages for the physical and emotional pain and suffering you have experienced due to the emotional distress.

    The court may also award you punitive damages. Although not guaranteed, these damages are designed to punish the defendant for their behavior and warn others against engaging in similar behavior in the future.

    However, it is worth mentioning that punitive damages are only awarded in cases where the defendant's behavior was particularly egregious or malicious.

    That said, note that the actual damages you may be able to recover will depend on the unique circumstances of your case. That is also another reason to consult an attorney; they will review your case and determine what damages you could recover.

  • What Is the Difference Between Mental Health and Emotional Distress in a Lawsuit?

    Mental health and emotional distress are related concepts, but they have distinct meanings from a legal standpoint.

    Mental health refers to a person's overall psychological well-being. This can include a range of conditions, such as:

    • depression;
    • anxiety;
    • bipolar disorder; and
    • schizophrenia.

    Most mental health conditions can be diagnosed by a mental health professional. As a result, the mental health professional might recommend ongoing treatment for the patient. On the other hand, emotional distress is a legal concept that refers to the psychological harm or suffering that a person experiences due to another person's actions or inaction.

    Emotional distress can occur when someone:

    • intentionally engages in extreme and outrageous behavior that causes severe emotional distress;
    • is negligent, causing severe emotional distress (think of medical malpractice as an example);
    • is injured in a car accident and experiences significant emotional distress.

    Another noteworthy difference is that emotional distress is usually the focus during a lawsuit. This is because it is the legal concept that allows a plaintiff to seek damages for the harm they have suffered due to another person's actions. On the contrary, mental health may be relevant to the case if it is used as evidence to support a claim for emotional distress.

  • Is PTSD a Form of Mental Health Problem?

    Yes, as mentioned earlier, PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) can be a form of mental health problem. This problem occurs through experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. Examples of common causes of PTSD include military combat, physical or sexual assault, natural disasters, car accidents, or any other event that causes feelings of extreme fear, helplessness, or horror.

    Some common signs and symptoms of PTSD include but are not limited to the following:

    • Intrusive thoughts or memories of the traumatic event
    • Avoidance of reminders of the traumatic event
    • Nightmares or flashbacks
    • Feelings of numbness or detachment
    • Hypervigilance or feeling on edge
    • Irritability or angry outbursts

    PTSD is a serious mental health condition that can significantly impact a person's life, relationships, and ability to function. Even worse is that treatment for PTSD is often expensive because it involves a combination of therapy, medication, and other support services.

  • How Do I Prove That I Suffered PTSD After an Injury Caused by Someone's Negligence?

    Proving that you suffered from PTSD due to an injury caused by someone's negligence can be difficult. This is because, as mentioned earlier, these damages are usually tricky to quantify.  

    Still, you can support your claim by:

    • seeking medical treatment if you are experiencing symptoms of PTSD;
    • providing a detailed account of the traumatic event, including the date, time, location, and circumstances of the event;
    • documenting your symptoms;
    • obtaining witness statements;
    • providing medical records to establish a pattern of treatment; and
    • providing expert testimony, preferably from a mental health professional.
  • How Much Compensation Can I Get for a Mental Health Problem Caused by Someone's Negligence?

    The truth is that there is no set amount of compensation for mental health problems. This is because each case is unique and depends on the specific circumstances. To put it into perspective, the amount of compensation you may be able to receive for a mental health problem caused by someone's negligence will depend on:

    • the severity of your mental health problem;
    • the extent of your damages;
    • the cost of your medical treatment and therapy;
    • the laws in your jurisdiction, and;
    • any other damages you have suffered as a result of the negligent party's actions, such as pain and suffering or loss of enjoyment of life.

    In some cases, the court may award the plaintiff punitive damages. For example, defamation cases might attract punitive damages if the defendant was negligent with their statement, causing significant harm to the plaintiff. These damages are meant to punish the negligent party for their actions and to deter them from engaging in similar behavior in the future.

  • Do I Need an Attorney to Prove a Mental Health Claim After a Personal Injury?

    While it is not strictly necessary to hire an attorney to prove a mental health claim after a personal injury, doing so can be highly beneficial.

    Here is why.

    Because proving a mental health claim can be challenging, you may need expert testimony and medical evidence to establish the nature and extent of your mental health condition. That is where an experienced personal injury attorney comes in to help you navigate the legal process and gather the necessary evidence to support your claim.

    Such an attorney can also guide you throughout your case and help you understand your legal rights and options.

    Keep in mind that you will need a legal strategy to win. With an attorney on your side, they can help you determine the best strategy to prove your mental health claim and advocate on your behalf.

    And given that mental health claims are more difficult to quantify, the other party will likely try to fight back against your claims. A lack of a legal strategy, precisely one provided by an attorney, puts you at risk of losing your case.

  • How Can a Morgan & Morgan Attorney Help?

    Morgan & Morgan needs no introduction when it comes to fighting for the rights of the injured. Here is why you should let us fight for you.

    First, our attorneys have experience handling various personal injury cases, including those involving mental health claims. And as a law firm, we have been fighting for the rights of the injured since 1988. For this reason, you can count on us to help you build a strong case and hold the other party accountable for their actions.

    Second, Morgan & Morgan has the resources to conduct thorough investigations, gather evidence, and hire experts to support your case. This is because we are the nation's largest injury firm, fighting for the rights of the injured from coast to coast.

    Third, we have a strong reputation in the legal community and beyond. To put things into perspective, our law firm has over 28,000 5-star reviews on Google alone. But that's not all—did you know that insurance companies and other parties involved in your case may take your claim more seriously when you have a reputable law firm like Morgan & Morgan representing you?

    Keep in mind that we work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you only pay us if we win.

  • Contact Morgan & Morgan

    If you or a loved one have suffered a mental health injury caused by someone else's negligence, you should take action to protect your rights and get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation. This is the first yet most crucial step toward getting your deserved compensation.

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“I was in a difficult situation when I was injured by a faulty product. I was hesitant to seek legal help but with the help of Morgan & Morgan, they made the process easy. They took immediate action and got me the compensation I deserved. I couldn't have done it without them. I highly recommend their services.” Estate of Patricia Allen v. RJ Reynolds, et al. | 2014

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