Getting hurt isn’t just painful to your body but also to your mind, yet personal injury settlements often overlook emotional trauma damages. While a broken bone has direct bills and losses—hospital expenses, follow-up doctor appointments, pain medication prescriptions, missed days at work—emotional pain isn’t as easily summed up by a piece of paper. This can prompt liable parties to undervalue or even neglect damages for psychological distress.
However, a Abogada de lesiones personales can gather evidence of emotional trauma to present as part of your case. Although not as straightforward as a physical injury, emotional trauma can still be documented and provide the basis for damages.
What Is Emotional Trauma in Personal Injury?
de American Psychological Association (APA) explains that trauma is an emotional response to a terrible event. An unexpected accident, like those that result in personal injury cases, certainly qualifies. The APA mentions symptoms ranging from unpredictable emotions to physical effects like pain or nausea.
In fact, the psychological impact of accidents could include:
- Chest, head, neck, or back pain
- Anxiety, depression, or insomnia
- Changes in weight or eating habits
- Stomach and intestinal problems
- Feeling overwhelmed by emotion
- Difficulty concentrating or remembering
- Flashbacks to the traumatic event
- Substance abuse as a coping mechanism
Some victims go on to develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). According to the Mayo Clinic, the disorder could interfere with victims’ lives for months or years after the traumatic event, reducing quality of life and making it hard to keep a job.
Even without developing PTSD, your chronic stress and emotional struggles can take a toll on your physical health and well-being.
Why Are Emotional Distress Damages Often Overlooked?
Clearly, there are very real consequences experienced by victims of emotional trauma. However, everyone’s symptoms are different. One person might develop phobias, another might be prone to emotional outbursts, and yet another person might feel mostly physical symptoms.
This is part of why insurers are leery of claims of traumatic stress. They like uniform data, and emotional distress is anything but uniform.
Victims Can Also Undervalue Their Psychological Trauma
If you were hurt in an accident, some concerns take precedence, like getting emergency care for physical injuries and then going through the rehabilitation process. For instance, if you were in a serious car accident, suffering broken bones and internal injuries, you and your doctors naturally prioritize treating those first to avoid complications. This can mean that your mental health after an accident takes a backseat.
While this is understandable, don’t wait too long to acknowledge the trauma of your experience. Downplaying the psychological side of your ordeal in an attempt to stay strong can end up looking like you didn’t suffer distress. Insurers look at your medical records to see if and when you sought treatment for certain symptoms, including emotional trauma.
In other words, admitting you’re struggling isn’t a sign of weakness, and it can actually help your case. On the other hand, covering up what you’re feeling hurts both you and your case.
The Full Toll Might Take Time to Manifest
The Mayo Clinic reports that you might not experience PTSD symptoms until months or even years after a traumatic event. It also might take you some time to connect your symptoms to the accident. Some people don’t really feel the full anxiety and emotion of a traumatic event until things go “back to normal.”
The delayed onset of emotional stress is common yet a reason some liable parties try to dispute damages. If your symptoms don’t fit into their timeline of what they think is the typical reaction, they might put up a fight.
How Can You Prove the Emotional Impact of Injuries?
Because seeking damages for this type of accident consequence is often scrutinized, our attorneys use several types of evidence to back up our case. That can include:
- Documentation of your traumatic injuries
- Accounts from people around you about your condition
- Records of doctor office visits
- Documentation of specific symptoms like panic or flashbacks
- Prescriptions to treat symptoms
- Diagnosis of a mental health condition like PTSD
- Counseling and therapy sessions
- Notes and testimony from mental health experts
- Timeline of events charting your experience
For example, if you suffered catastrophic injuries—traumatic brain injuries, burns, spinal cord injuries, loss of limb, disfigurement—proof of that can provide evidence of emotional distress.
However, you don’t have to experience a permanent, life-altering physical injury to experience emotional trauma. Our personal injury lawyers use the other evidence to highlight that you experienced a life-altering psychological injury due to this accident, and that is no less valid as grounds for damages.
What Else Can a Personal Injury Attorney Do for Emotional Trauma Damages?
Hiring an emotional trauma lawyer isn’t just to help you prove your case. Dealing with a legal case is already stressful on its own, let alone when you’re struggling with emotional distress. Furthermore, revisiting the events that caused your trauma can be triggering. As a result, our firm can help protect you from additional stressors.
Proving Traumatic Stress Is About More than the Proof
What we mean is that gathering the evidence is one step. The next step is to present it to the other parties in your case and use it to negotiate for damages. A Abogada de lesiones personales can stitch together these elements to argue that you deserve compensation.
Even in the most obvious or straightforward cases of emotional distress, the other party might try to push against the idea of providing you with damages. A lawyer’s job is to persuade, and we can do that for you.
Call Us if You Need Help Proving This Overlooked Part of Personal Injury
You can contact KJT Law Group today if you’re struggling with psychological trauma caused by someone’s negligence. Your mental and emotional struggles have just as much value as your physical injuries and income losses. If anyone tells you otherwise, reach out to us to fight for your emotional distress damages. We don’t just gather evidence but protect you legally and emotionally. Reach out today at (818) 507-8525 para una revisión gratuita de su caso.