Personal injury accidents – including car accidents, trucking accidents, dog attacks, and workplace accidents – are often sudden and traumatic events. As a result, it is not uncommon for an injured party to suffer psychological injuries in addition to physical injuries.
For instance, some accident victims suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In fact, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, PTSD affects about 7.7 million American adults. PTSD is a psychological disorder that makes a person feel stressed or frightened even when he or she is not in danger, and it often develops after a harrowing situation that involves physical harm or the threat of physical harm. Signs and symptoms of PTSD include:
- Flashbacks to the accident
- Bad dreams
- Frightening thoughts
- Feeling emotionally numb
- Avoidance of reminders of the accident
- Loss of interest in activities that used to be enjoyable
- Memory difficulties
- Difficulty sleeping
- Easily startled and on edge
Assuming the plaintiff successfully proves that the defendant’s negligence caused his or her injuries, he or she may be entitled to money damages for both physical injuries and psychological injuries, including:
- Medical expenses incurred due to the injuries
- Lost wages (past and future) as a result of the injuries
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of normal life
Although psychological injuries often occur in personal injury accidents, they can be more difficult to prove and calculate than physical injuries. As a result, expert testimony from a mental health professional is imperative. A mental health expert will be able to testify to the nature of PTSD, as well as the medical information supporting a diagnosis of PTSD for the plaintiff. Because the treatment for PTSD is extensive and can last several months or years, it is important to have a medical expert testify as to the full impact of mental injuries in order to calculate money damages. It is also important to seek prompt medical attention for PTSD as soon as possible in order to prove the diagnosis and its impact on the plaintiff.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
Because it is difficult to prove and calculate PTSD and other psychological injuries, a personal injury lawyer who has sufficient experience handling PTSD cases can be instrumental to the case. The Chicago personal injury law firm of Cogan & Power, P.C. focuses on representing clients in personal injury lawsuits involving traumatic accident and, as a result, we have considerable experience handling with cases that involve psychological injuries. We are able to draw on a vast network of knowledgeable expert witnesses and will fight to get you maximum money damages for all of your injuries –not just physical injuries, but psychological injuries as well. Over the years, we have recovered more than $250 million in settlements and verdicts on behalf of people who have suffered injury or loss because of someone else’s negligence or misconduct.
If you or a loved one suffers from PTSD as a result of a personal injury accident, contact Cogan & Power, P.C. at (312) 477-2500 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our Chicago personal injury lawyers.