The following guide may be helpful to understand if your psychological injury may be eligible for compensation. The best way to protect your rights if you or a loved one have been in an accident is to contact a personal injury lawyer.
Injuries caused by the negligence of another person or an organization are often compensable through the courts. Automobile accidents may also have additional compensation available from your own insurance company. Generally, when thinking about personal injury claims, most people consider physical injuries such as broken bones, lacerations, etc. But what about more insidious, hidden injuries of a psychological nature?
We, as a society have become more in tune with the realities of mental illness. We now recognize that traumatic events can cause serious harm to mental health. For example, it has become common knowledge that members of our armed forces returning from conflict zones should be monitored for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Unfortunately, our insurance companies with a bottom line in mind haven’t quite caught up. Some insurance providers are prone to denying benefits for psychological injuries caused by traumatic accidents because most mental health issues are invisible, and more difficult to detect than physical injuries.
Types Of Psychological Injuries
Just like with physical injuries there are degrees of severity, some may last only as long as it takes you to physically heal from the accident.
Some of the less severe psychological injuries could include:
- Fear or anxiety that is short lived
- Anger at the negligent party
Some of the more severe psychological injuries could include:
- Depression diagnosed as a result of loss of function i.e.: depression following paralysis
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Severe Insomnia
Psychological injuries can be present alongside physical injuries. Any accident causing physical injuries may also impact on your mental health. Psychological injuries can result from any type of accident including:
- Slip and fall accidents
- Motor vehicle collisions
- Dog bites
- Medical malpractice
How To Prove The Injury
Generally, in order to prove that there is a psychological disorder, you would need to have an evaluation done by a qualified medical professional, such as a psychiatrist. A formal diagnosis would leave an injured party in the best position to argue their case.
In order to succeed in a lawsuit on the basis of a mental health injury, the injured party would need to prove:
- The psychological injury was a reasonably foreseeable result of the actions or negligence
- A recognized mental illness, was caused by the actions or negligence
If both of those questions can be positively answered you may be entitled to compensation. The process for claiming compensation would involve filing a tort claim in the courts.
Unfortunately, there is still significant stigma attached to mental health issues. An experienced personal injury lawyer can assist you in seeking compensation or coverage for your treatment if your illness was caused by an accident. At Mehdi Au LLP we are sensitive to the needs of our injured clients, and we have personal injury lawyers on staff who may be able to help you in assessing and filing a claim, while staying sensitive to all of your health concerns.
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