Car accident injuries can be physical as well as mental or emotional. While the physical injuries can be seen, documented, proven and treated, often the mental or emotional damage is much more challenging to prove. This can lead to increased difficulties in obtaining fair compensation for issues such as brain trauma or mental distress caused by the accident. In some cases, especially when the accident resulted in a death, a spouse may claim for compensation for spousal loss of consortium and subsequent mental and emotional stress.
In recent medical journals a great deal of attention has been given to short and long term brain injury that results in mental difficulties for the injured individual. Traumatic brain injury or TBI is estimated to occur every 15 seconds in the United States with up to 5 million Americans currently living with the condition. Concussions, which occur when the brain is jolted in are impact, are one the most common forms of brain injury seen in car accidents.
Whiplash, which occurs with high speed velocity changes to the brain, creates a pressure wave that causes damage to the brain cells. This tearing, stress and compression of the brain cells when the head literally whips back and forth in a crash can lead to both short and long term mental functioning problems for the individual, often without any outwardly visible physical damage.
Mental distress is one of the most difficult aspects to prove in any type of insurance claim. Typically individuals involved in vehicle accidents have stress and anxiety or mental distress over issues such as:
- Fear of another accident
- Fear and anxiety in riding in a vehicle
- Ongoing health issues causing mental stress
- Inability to sleep
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
In some states individuals that witnessed serious car accident injuries or accidents causing death may also be able to claim for mental distress.
Legal Support is Essential
When you have been in an accident that included any type of collision, head injury, serious injury or death it is essential to consult with an attorney. Claiming mental or emotional damages in car accident injuries is difficult unless you are working with an experienced personal injury attorney. Meeting with an attorney will provide you with the information you need to prove your case and ensure you receive the compensation required to cover your expenses for treatment.