Car Accidents Can Cause More than Physical Injuries

July 22, 2016 | Category: Car Accidents

It is not uncommon for relatively minor fender benders to leave victims shaking from a surge of adrenaline, even if they suffer no physical injuries. Involvement in more serious crashes, however, can leave individuals with longer-term psychological trauma.

Car accidents do not have to be fatal or even cause serious physical injury to have a profound psychological effect on victims. These injuries can be just as debilitating as physical injuries and may even manifest themselves with physical symptoms. While they can be more challenging to quantify monetarily, victims can and should pursue compensation when another party is liable for the accident.

Psychological Trauma is a Common Effect of Car Accidents

According to WebMD, a recent study estimates that at least one-third of non-fatal accident victims experience one or more of the following psychological effects one year after the accident:

  • Anxiety after a major accident can be so severe that car accident victims experience panic attacks and excessive fear and worry. Panic attacks often cause physical symptoms such as chest pain and shortness of breath. Even after their physical injuries have healed, returning to work may not always be possible.
  • Phobias are generally an extreme form of anxiety that can prevent sufferers from participating in similar activities. Drivers who go through significant accidents may avoid getting into cars, even as passengers, so traveling to work may not be an option.
  • Depression is more than a temporary feeling of sadness. It can lead to headaches, fatigue, sleeping difficulties and other physical effects -- even as sufferers lose interest in formerly pleasant activities. Due to a possible feeling of guilt or loss of self-worth, sufferers may consider or attempt suicide.
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is similar to being mentally-stuck in a car accident. Auto accident victims can experience frequent flashbacks to the event, nightmares and uncontrollable thoughts about the experience, which can leave them unable to handle even the most common aspects of life.

Granted, anyone may think twice about getting into a car for a few weeks after an accident, but longer-term or more severe symptoms can be debilitating for victims, preventing them from conducting normal activities. From a legal viewpoint, psychological trauma is a compensable injury known as pain and suffering, which represents a loss for accident victims and often for other people in their lives.

Estimating the Value of Pain and Suffering

As a general rule, pain and suffering claims raise red flags to insurance adjustors, particularly in cases involving relatively minor accidents with little or no physical injuries.

Certainly, victims who receive psychological counseling or have to take medication to ease their anxiety can successfully pursue compensation for these types of expenses, along with a loss of income. These expenses are known as economic damages because they are quantifiable through examination of physical records.

Sometimes, non-economic damages are just as real to victims. These include the effect that an accident can have on relationships with a spouse, children or even friends and co-workers. While placing a precise price tag on these types of losses can pose a challenge, the attorneys at The Rudman Law Firm have extensive experience in computing compelling estimates of these costs.

Call a Los Angeles car accident lawyer at (844) 478-3626 / (844) 4RUDMAN, at our Los Angeles office at (213) 375-3777 or at our Studio City office (818) 769-6969 for the help needed to pursue full and fair compensation.

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