Psychological injuries are just as serious as physical injuries, especially for victims dealing with their aftermath. The Port St. Lucie attorneys at Donaldson & Weston are dedicated to making sure that victims have the resources that they need to recover from their harm.
Car Accident Attorneys Assisting Residents of Port St. Lucie and Surrounding Cities
In the aftermath of a severe car accident, physical injuries are diagnosed and treated first. However, sometimes, victims feel the effects of their psychological injuries long after their bodies have healed. These injuries tend to be harder to recognize as well as address, making treatment more difficult as well as more time-consuming. Often, victims who sustain psychological injuries in a car accident require extensive therapy, which may become expensive over time. The Port St. Lucie car accident lawyers at Donaldson & Weston want to make sure that victims receive all of the support that they need for physical as well as emotional harm caused by another person as a result of a serious collision. If you have suffered injuries in an accident, contact our office today to find out more about how we can help.
Psychological Injuries Following a Collision
Some studies suggest that around 30 percent of victims who have experienced a serious car accident suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. PTSD is the most common psychological injury following a car crash, symptoms of which include depression, memory loss, and drug or alcohol abuse and addiction. PTSD that lasts less than three months is known as acute PTSD, while people who suffer from symptoms for more than three months are diagnosed with chronic PTSD. Delayed PTSD may also present itself to victims up until six months after a traumatic event. Aside from PTSD, car accident victims may suffer other psychological injuries, such as acute anxiety disorder, severe depression, and driving phobias. Signs that a victim has suffered a psychological injury following a car accident include:
- Flashbacks or reliving the accident
- Sleeplessness or trouble staying asleep
- Panic and stress when faced with reminders of the accident
- Numbness or emotional withdrawal
- Loss of interest in daily activities
- Loss of concentration
- Feelings of hopelessness
Certain factors involved in a collision may increase the risk of psychological injuries, including if someone else died in the accident, the victim viewed the crash as life-threatening, the victim had experienced traumatic events prior to the accident, or the victim had prior psychiatric issues. Psychological injuries such as PTSD require diagnosis and treatment by a psychiatric professional.
Seeking Compensation for Psychological Injuries
Psychological injuries have a profound impact on a victim, which may include trouble concentrating at work or an inability to enjoy daily activities. Often, victims require counseling in order to deal with their injuries and return to their normal lives. Counseling is a long-term commitment, and it may weigh on a victim’s financial situation. When a psychological injury was inflicted due to a car accident caused by a negligent driver, that driver should be held accountable. Negligence is shown when a person has breached their duty to act as a reasonable individual would in the same or similar circumstances. Additionally, it must be shown that this breach caused a victim’s psychological injury, resulting in damages. The crash must have been a foreseeable result of the driver’s careless or reckless conduct. When a drunk driver hits another vehicle, for example, causing the other driver to suffer from PTSD, the drunk driver may be held responsible for the damages that result. This is because it is unreasonable to get behind the wheel while intoxicated, and it is foreseeable for a crash to happen when a driver behaves in this way.
Victims may receive compensation for counseling costs, other medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Even if their costs are greater than they might be for an average person in a similar situation, the defendant still will be held accountable for paying them. This is known as the eggshell plaintiff rule, in which damages are based on each victim’s specific circumstances and needs.