Physical injuries often result from accidents, but they are not the only type of injury you can sustain. Mental and emotional injuries can lead to serious consequences and harm. Psychological harm, like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), can require years of therapy to treat. If an accident causes psychological harm, you may be entitled to compensation according to Pennsylvania law. Most of the time it must accompany a physical injury but not always. That’s why it is important to speak to a personal injury lawyer to make sure you demand and recover just and fair compensation – the value of which addresses any psychological harm you or a loved one may have experienced. Our personal injury lawyer will thoroughly review your personal injury case and help calculate both economic and non-economic damages. Psychological harm would fall under non-economic damages. Please contact our injury attorneys to schedule a free consultation and to make sure you recover compensation that considers the total value of your damages. You can also visit our PA auto accident attorney podcast and PA car accident lawyer videos.
Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome & Mental Health Claims After An Auto Accident In PA
In addition to physical injuries, a plaintiff in a Pennsylvania personal injury case may also seek damages for psychological harm, like post-traumatic stress disorder. PTSD is a mental health condition that develops after experiencing or seeing a traumatic event. Examples of traumatic events include a car accident, natural disaster, or assault. People who are regularly exposed to trauma in their line of work, such as police and firemen, can also develop PTSD as a result of their professional experiences.
Symptoms of PTSD can vary and be minor, moderate or debilitating. There is no telling how long they will last and can include:
- Severe anxiety and depression
- Difficulty coping
- Being easily startled or frightened
- Avoiding situations or places related to the event
Non-PTSD Psychological Injuries
Psychological conditions other than post traumatic stress syndrome may qualify for compensation. These can include:
- Mental stress
- Emotional distress, like depression, insomnia and anxiety
- Severe mood swings
- Loss of appetite
- Sexual dysfunction
Challenges In Pennsylvania Mental Health Claims
Mental health claims like PTSD can be complex conditions that are generally not well-understood. While a term like PTSD is widely known, it may be difficult for a jury to appreciate the specific impacts of PTSD on an individual. What’s more, the insurance adjuster or defense team may try to downplay the health condition or suggest that it is the result of another event in your life. Oftentimes this happens when the third-party insurance company demands your medical records and you release your entire history to them without knowing you are not required to do so. They will scour your medical history with a fine-tooth comb looking for vulnerabilities they can use to minimize or avoid a payout.
Regardless of your medical history, however, mental health claims are still difficult. Unlike a physical injury, PTSD and other psychological conditions are not visible to the naked eye. Symptoms may develop some time after an incident and, when they do, they can be more difficult to prove than physical injuries which can be established through photos, scarring, or medical reports.
While not essential in all jurisdictions, it’s often easier to prove PTSD if there is an associated physical condition.
Contact Our Pennsylvania PTSD Injury Lawyers
Your personal injury case involving psychological damages can be built in most part on the evidence you bring to the table. Let our experienced PA injury attorneys analyze your claim. Please click here to contact them.