The Impact of Personal Injury on Mental Health: Does it Affect Compensation?

  • Personal Injury
December 21, 2023

Many of us associate personal injury cases with bodily injury yet overlook how physical trauma can impact mental health. Following an injury, victims may experience a range of mental health complications, including anxiety, depression, guilt, shame, and in more extreme cases, even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

If your mental health is suffering because of a personal injury, you deserve to understand your rights and how it influences compensation.

The Impact

You may see the body and mind as two distinct entities, yet in reality, they are tightly interconnected. Because of this, bodily injury can trigger a range of emotions, including nightmares, flashbacks, and severe anxiety, amongst other feelings.  This emotional toll can extend the recovery process, limit your ability to work, lead to additional mental health treatment costs, and further complicate matters—especially for those who are simultaneously managing bodily injuries.

Physical & Mental Pain: The Missed Connection

The reasons so many of us fail to make a connection between physical and mental pain are relatively obvious—and, at the same time, not so obvious at all.

It’s Subjective: Unlike physical pain, mental pain cannot be put under a microscope or uncovered with an X-ray machine. In a sense, that makes mental illness it’s an “invisible” injury that’s subjective, difficult to quantify, and hard for others to fully understand.

There’s Still a Stigma: Our culture has made positive strides in acknowledging the importance of mental health treatment. But unfortunately, there is still a stigma attached to seeking mental health treatment. The reasons for this vary. Some believe they should be self-sufficient enough to handle their emotions privately. Others mistakenly believe talk therapy and medication are pseudo-science—ineffective treatment plans that only mask the underlying issue.

Lack of Education: As we said earlier, many people fail to see the connection between the body and mind. And because they cannot physically “see” mental health disorders, they mistakenly believe that they do not exist.

Separation of Healthcare Services: Traditionally, physical and mental health care have been treated as separate domains that do not overlap. That’s changing, but that disconnect has helped feed the misconception that body and mind are two distinct entities that do not influence one another.

Compensation for Mental Injuries

If you are a personal injury victim who is experiencing mental health complications, you’re in the right place. We know that injuries do not just affect the body. They also impact the mind, and you deserve compensation for your injuries.  Medical expenses: In addition to compensation for physical treatment, personal injury victims may also be entitled to mental health treatment, including therapy, medication, and any additional psychiatric care.

Lost Wages: Like physical injuries, mental health-related injuries can keep you from returning to work. In such cases, you may be entitled to compensation that covers past and future earnings.

Noneconomic Loss or Injury: Many personal injury cases also factor in compensation for pain and suffering, which can include emotional distress, anxiety, depression, and more.

Loss of Consortium: Mental distress often extends beyond the victim, affecting family members and spouses. Loss of consortium compensates family members who have experienced the loss of companionship, love, and sexual intimacy. It is important to note that it is family members and spouses, not personal injury victims, who are entitled to pursue these claims.

Proving Pain & Suffering

Demonstrating that you have suffered emotional pain resulting from a personal injury requires a different approach than proving bodily harm. While you may not have test results or X-rays to present, you can document your personal account, maintain therapy records or medical reports, and collect testimonials from family members or acquaintances familiar with your mental state before and after the injury.If you are dealing with mental health complications as a result of a personal injury, it's important to contact a legal team that specializes in personal injuries. An adept attorney can help you clearly and convincingly convey your emotional distress and advocate for the compensation you deserve.

Talk to an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Now!

Our experienced legal team at Jorgensen, Brownell & Pepin, P.C. understands the intricacies of personal injury cases, including the often-overlooked emotional distress that results from a personal injury. Don't let your emotional pain and suffering go unrecognized or uncompensated. Contact us now, and let us provide the support and representation you need to rebuild your life after a personal injury.

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