When they hear the words personal injury, most people immediately think of a physical injury that could have temporary or permanent consequences. Broken bones, fractures, cuts and bruising may all be obvious, and can easily be displayed when you make a personal injury claim.
Physical injuries can usually be treated. They may take time to recover from, or force changes in lifestyle, that can be directly compensated for, but the less tangible effects of personal injury are sometimes even more devastating.
Emotional problems cover a wide range of experiences with varying severities of symptoms. It may be mild anxiety that passes with time, or a more long-lasting condition that takes lengthy treatment to recover from, such as Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or depression.
The trauma of being involved in an accident must be considered when you make a personal injury claim. The consequences can be profound and are often more long-lasting and debilitating than the physical injuries. Whether it’s loss of income, reduced career opportunities, a more restricted life or other factors, they all influence a compensation claim.
Post-traumatic stress disorder
Post-traumatic stress disorder is a debilitating condition that occurs as a result of suffering an injury, serious accident, or being exposed to traumatic circumstances. PTSD can manifest itself in a number of different ways. These might include flashbacks, periodic intense anxiety, trouble sleeping and difficulty carrying out everyday tasks. Sufferers may experience bouts of anger and distress, panic attacks and feel an intense need to withdraw. It’s a complex condition that often combines a variety of symptoms which when taken together cause a great deal of distress.
Often a symptom of PTSD, depression is not an uncommon response for anyone who has been involved in a serious accident. It’s not just periodic low mood, it’s an ongoing disorder which in some cases can make it extremely difficult to function in daily life. It often requires medication and therapy to help people make a recovery, which can be a slow process. If depression arises because of an accident it can impact on an individual’s ability to work, socialise and go about their business.
Anxiety is a common response to an accident. It can sometimes be generalised, or more specific, related in some way to an accident. If you’ve been in a car accident, you may find it difficult to drive again, or even travel in a car. If you need to drive to get to work, or as part of your job, the impact on your career will be considerable. It can create difficulties, sleeping and eating, and can lead to other long-lasting mental health issues. If your injury happened as a result of your working life, it’s not uncommon for workplace or task related anxiety to arise. It may need cognitive behavioural therapy.
Accidents can lead to a range of different phobias developing because of the injury. These can be related to the incident specifically, or more general, but depending on their severity can cause the sufferer real problems, making it difficult to live their lives as fully as they would like.
Pernicious and ongoing
It can sometimes take a while for an accident victim to fully realise that they are suffering from a psychological disorder. They can be hard to admit to, even to yourself, and by the time many people feel treatment the problem has become embedded.
That’s why it’s important to seek medical help as soon as possible and to be as open as you can be with your GP and other medical professionals.
As well as seeking medical help, it’s possible you may be able to make a personal injury claim because of the psychological distress you have suffered. It may be possible to receive financial compensation from the individual or company responsible for the accident. This could be used to pay for private treatment or other support to help you resolve or manage your problems.
The professional and experienced personal injury team at Mark Reynolds Solicitors can advise you about your case, and a provide a no-win, no-fee service should you decide to proceed with a claim.