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What impact can a personal injury have on mental health?

View profile for Brea Carney-Jones
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What impact can a personal injury have on mental health?

Many people struggle following an accident, mentally as well as physically. Injuries to mental health caused by accidents can be just as debilitating as many physical injuries and often accompany physical injuries or are even caused by them. Mental injury is something which affects people in different ways and will affect some people but not others following an accident.

Mental health injuries

The incidental psychological impact of a physical injury on a person could be anything from struggling with the fact that they are suddenly unable to run around after their children, take them to school or care for them as they usually can. Or they might be stressed and worried if they find they are suddenly unable to go to work and earn a living for weeks or months on end. These struggles can also lead to strains on their relationships with family and friends.

Consequently, anxiety, stress, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and panic attacks are mental conditions which victims of accidents commonly suffer with as a result of the impact of a physical injury following an accident.

Pursuing a personal injury claim

The focus of a personal injury claim tends to be on the physical injury itself, usually because the extent of a physical injury is easier to prove than that of any mental injury. However, there is an increasing recognition of the importance of protecting our mental health, and this is something which is hugely important at a time of trauma like an accidental injury. 

Claiming compensation for this kind of injury can be rather difficult as injuries to a victim’s mental health can be difficult to diagnose and people may be reluctant to seek help out of pride or fear of how they’ll be perceived.

Further, through a personal injury claim, a claimant has to prove that a liable party’s negligence caused the mental illness or injury. This can be difficult given that many mental injuries and illnesses lack the kind of easily measurable and tangible symptoms and signs that physical injuries display.

It is therefore vital that those who are suffering mentally following an accident seek advice from their GP, a mental health professional or charity. This is not only important for their health but evidence of this can also be used to support a claim for mental injury resulting from an accident.

Defendants in a personal injury claim will often try to claim that a mental health injury may have developed after an accident due to another cause or that the injury is not legitimate due to a lack of evidence showing its effects. However, through the instruction of an expert psychiatrist and supporting medical evidence of the progression of a mental condition, including any prescriptions, treatment records, etc., someone can successfully seek compensation for expenses relating to mental injury treatment and other damages such as lost wages and pain and suffering.  

We deal with many personal injury claims involving mental health injuries and have successfully secured compensation for clients who have suffered through no fault of their own. If you have suffered a physical and/or mental injury which was not your fault, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0175 321 6399 for advice.

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