When we are in an accident and suffer an injury, we typically only think of the physical and financial damages we sustain. However, many people may not realize that the aftermath of an injury can lead to significant psychological damage as well. Depending on the circumstances of your accident, you may experience a strong aversion to certain situations and objects, develop mental illnesses, and find it difficult to cope with everyday life.
Common Psychological Impacts After an Injury
Sustaining a physical injury can affect your psyche in a number of ways. You may develop an aversion to certain situations or objects after an accident, depending on the circumstances. You may also develop symptoms of certain mental illnesses as well. All of these effects can lead to a serious impact on how you encounter the world.
Post-traumatic stress disorder is common after an injury. This condition develops after you suffer a traumatic event, which your accident will qualify as. Depending on what happened to you, certain activities or situations can trigger emotional reactions, such as fear, intense anger, and flashbacks.
For example, say that you suffer serious injuries after a car crash. You may become terrified of driving and refuse to get behind the wheel. If you slip and fall at work, you may not be able to perform your same duties as a result of the accident due to flashbacks and will have to leave your job. Dog bites can make you afraid of dogs, and violent crimes can lead to an aversion to certain types of people.
You may also develop other mental illnesses after an injury, such as depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or anxiety. In addition, you may experience significant mental anguish and pain as a result of the accident, such as pain felt after losing a loved one in the accident or the realization that the accident left you with life-changing injuries.
Can You Claim Compensation for Psychological Injury?
You have the right to claim compensation through a personal injury lawsuit or insurance claim after an accident if someone else’s negligence or recklessness caused it. You can claim damages for many different expenses incurred after an accident, including medical expenses, lost wages, and emotional damages.
There are three main types of damages you can claim after an accident: economic, non-economic, and punitive. Economic damages cover the out-of-pocket losses you suffer as a result of the accident. Courts apply punitive damages in situations where the at-fault party acted in a way that is especially reckless or negligent. Non-economic damages are the injuries you did not suffer a direct financial impact from, including emotional damages.
The purpose of emotional damages is to provide you with compensation for the psychological effects you suffer from after the accident. These can include the development of mental illnesses, such as anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. You can also claim compensation for mental anguish, humiliation, insomnia, and fear. You may also claim compensation for treatment costs and medication for your psychological damages.
How Do You Calculate Emotional Damages?
The courts use a number of methods to calculate the dollar amount of emotional damages you can collect compensation for in your lawsuit. Nevada does not generally apply a cap on the amount of emotional damages you can claim, with the exception of medical malpractice claims, which have a $50,000 cap.
The courts will weigh a number of factors in determining your emotional damage amount, including the following.
- How the injury impacts your home and workplace relationships
- How the injury limits or alters your daily routine
- How the injury will impact you in the long term
- How the injury affects your lifestyle, including the quality of your sleep
The aftermath of an injury can be very psychologically damaging, as well as physically and financially harmful. You may develop mental illnesses such as post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety. The effects and associated treatment costs of these damages may be too difficult to bear – but you can claim compensation for these losses through a personal injury lawsuit. Contact a Las Vegas personal injury attorney to discuss your legal options and to begin the filing process.