Typically, a personal injury claim is based on physical injuries. If a negligent driver injures you, if your neighbor’s dog bites you, or if you slip on spilled juice at the supermarket and break your leg, you can probably be reimbursed for the medical bills arising from your physical injury. This is where a Savannah personal injury law firm can help.
However, some accidents cause more than physical injuries. Serious accidents in particular often cause substantial mental and psychological injuries as well as physical injuries.
Everyone reacts differently to traumatic events. One person in a catastrophic traffic accident, for example, may have nightmares for years, while another person in the same accident may experience no lasting psychological effects whatsoever.
Can You Be Compensated for a Psychological Injury?
Psychological damage arising from an accident may not be visible to the naked eye, but it nevertheless can be quite extensive and quite damaging. Without treatment and counseling, a psychological injury victim may suffer for years after an accident.
Can the injured victims of negligence receive monetary compensation for psychological injuries the same way they receive compensation for physical injuries? If you file a claim for psychological injuries, what will it take for that claim to prevail?
Keep reading – particularly if you are the injured victim of another person’s negligence here in Georgia. This is a brief introduction to Georgia’s personal injury laws and how those laws apply to psychological injuries.
What Are the Signs of a Psychological Injury?
Of course, every case is different. If you’re struggling right now with a psychological injury that you sustained in an accident caused by another person’s negligence, you should speak immediately about your case with a reliable and trustworthy Savannah personal injury attorney.
Accident victims may express their psychological injuries in a variety of ways. They may have trouble holding a job, managing their emotions, or maintaining their friendships. For some victims, psychological damage may not even emerge until weeks after an accident.
Persons who have been permanently physically disabled or even temporarily disabled are almost certain to feel depression, anguish, anger, guilt, or fear about the future. Some injury victims will have trouble sleeping, may lose their appetites, or may experience sudden weight gains or losses.
Psychological injuries after a serious accident may include anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other serious mental conditions. Psychological injuries may also linger long after a victim has healed from the physical injuries sustained in an accident.
What Makes PTSD So Devastating?
Most accident-related psychological injuries eventually fade away over time, but accident victims who suffer from PTSD – post-traumatic stress disorder – will usually need to seek treatment and counseling. PTSD can considerably impair your capacity to enjoy living.
If you are injured by another party’s negligence in the state of Georgia – in a traffic crash or in any other accident scenario – the law entitles you to compensation for both psychological and physical injuries. You can be reimbursed for the cost of counseling, treatment, and medication.
The victims of negligence may also recover lost income when a personal injury or injuries has prevented them from working, and they are entitled to additional compensation for personal suffering, pain, anguish, and distress.
How Can You Prove That You’ve Suffered a Psychological Injury?
Of course, the obvious problem that faces psychological injury victims is proving to others that their injuries, although not visible, are in fact real.
If you feel depression, anxiety, or guilt after an accident, or if you suffer eating or sleeping disorders, seek counseling or treatment at once. Fortunately, experienced counselors are available almost everywhere in the state of Georgia in both the private and public sectors.
If you do not seek counseling or treatment for a psychological injury, you won’t have evidence or documentation to present to an insurance company – or to a jury if your case goes to trial.
How Can an Expert Witness Help You?
Your personal injury lawyer will probably ask an expert witness – an authority on psychological injuries – to make a statement or testify at a trial. Expert witnesses are common in these cases, and they can help jurors understand more clearly the nature and extent of psychological injuries.
In some cases, expert witnesses can even help victims avoid the courtroom. In the out-of-court negotiations conducted prior to a personal injury trial, the explanations provided by expert witnesses can often help the opposing parties reach mutually acceptable settlement agreements.
What Else Should a Psychological Injury Victim Do?
If you have sustained any psychological injury because of an accident, here is what you must do:
- Do not miss your medical appointments. Adhere to your physician’s orders.
- Find a counselor you trust. Talking it over almost always helps.
- Stay active. Exercise. Do your best to eat a reasonable, balanced diet.
- Take your prescriptions. Most injury victims only need medications temporarily.
Will Your Psychological Injury Case Go to Trial?
In the state of Georgia, if someone else’s negligence causes an accident, and if you are injured in that accident psychologically and/or physically, speak immediately with a qualified Savannah personal injury attorney about your rights and your options for obtaining compensation.
Personal injury trials are not exactly rare in this state, but overwhelmingly, most personal injury claims are settled in private negotiations between the attorneys for both sides. In most cases, injury victims are not even required to make an appearance in a courtroom.
However, if your injury claim cannot be settled out-of-court, your personal injury lawyer may recommend taking your case to trial and asking a jury for the compensation – and for the justice – you need and deserve.
What Will It Cost an Injury Victim to Seek Justice?
If you are injured in any kind of accident in the state of Georgia, seek medical treatment at once. Then, if your injury was caused by negligence – or if you’re not sure – immediately take your case to an injury lawyer who will explain your rights and options.
It does not cost anything to find out more about your rights as an injured victim of negligence. Accident attorneys offer the injured a free, first legal consultation with no obligation. You won’t pay any attorney’s fee until you obtain an acceptable settlement offer or a jury award.
If someone else’s negligence is the reason you’ve been injured in Savannah, get the medical help you need at once, get the psychological help you need, and then – as quickly as possible – get the legal help you need. A good attorney’s help is your right, and your future could depend on it.
For over 15 years, Mr. Spaulding has helped victims of negligence across the state of Georgia resolve personal injury disputes, and he’s received a remarkable number of awards and honors from the legal community recognizing his commitment to clients and to the metro-Atlanta area.
As an undergraduate, Mr. Spaulding belonged to the Phi Beta Kappa honors fraternity at the University of Georgia, and he obtained his legal training at the Georgia State College of Law, where he clerked for the Honorable Judge Rowland Barnes of the Fulton County Superior Court. Mr. Spaulding has also worked for the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Atlanta Enforcement Division. Since 2005, he has dedicated his career to helping the injured victims of negligence and their loved ones win justice in Georgia’s personal injury courts.