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Psychological Injuries After A New York Car Accident

Long Island Psychological Injury Lawyer

Personal injury claims typically involve a negligent act by an individual or entity that then results in some kind of physical accident, but there also are many personal injury claims that involve significant psychological injuries as well. As the general public becomes more cognizant of how personal and financial well being is affected by mental health, the significance of psychological injuries within a civil law context continues to considerably grow.

This type of personal injury case is many times more complicated than a physical injury case, which is why it’s even more crucial to hire an experienced legal team to help guide you through the hoops and bounds and receive your rightful compensation from the responsible parties or entities.

What Does it Mean to Have a Psychological Injury?

Psychological injuries go far beyond any kind of distressing emotional reaction from a work accident, and when it comes down to it you’ll never be capable of putting together a successful personal injury claim just because an accident was frightening and upset you at the time of the incident.

But if emotional anguish does end up persisting for long periods of time after an accident, and you begin experiencing the negative impacts of anxiety, depression, etc. as a result of the other party’s negligence, then you may have the abilities for legal recourse.

Within personal injury law, psychological injuries basically are the development of a persistent mental health issue that arose as a result of another party or entity’s negligent actions or inactions.

Psychological Injury Examples and Symptoms

Psychological injuries always take on many different forms, and one example of this could be a worker suffering from depression after a workplace injury causes them to start a whole new life. Some people suffer from intense fear and mental anguish through vivid nightmares and memories of a specific incident that consistently is a source of anxiety for them. Some psychological injuries can begin the initial steps towards post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other anxiety disorders.

There are many types of emotional and physical symptoms a psychological injury victim may experience as a result of a traumatic event, and there isn’t one said list of symptoms because there are many different types of psychological injuries. But it’s still useful to consider the common types of psychological injuries and their associated symptoms, including:

  • PTSD Symptoms
    • Reliving a traumatic event via a flashback or nightmare
    • Persistently avoiding any kind of memory trigger that could concern a traumatic event, including people or places
    • Avoiding even talking about the traumatic event
    • Not being able to relax and experiencing acute anxiety feelings
  • Anxiety Disorder Symptoms
    • Difficulties sleeping
    • Restlessness and consistent worrisome feelings
    • Dizziness and heart palpitations
  • Depression Symptoms
    • Consistently feeling in a low mood
    • Having no interest or motivation towards anything
    • Feeling irritable
    • Trouble sleeping

Causes of Psychological Injuries

Everyone’s emotional responses are completely different, so really any kind of traumatic event can cause the forming of a psychological injury.

But there are some common causes, including car accidents and other roadway incidents including accidents on public transportation. Work accidents, premises liability injuries, and other physical personal injuries can all result in a life-altering mental anguish that can potentially lead to PTSD and other mental disorders.

Proving Psychological Injuries

The courts will always make the determination as to whether or not a psychological injury has occurred within personal injury claims, and they make these determinations based on two medical diagnostic tools, including:

  • The DSM-IV-TR: This stands for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, from the American Psychiatric Association
  • The World Health Organization’s International Classification of Diseases

There are also several factors that need to be considered in order for a psychological injury to be proven in personal injury cases, including the following:

  • The overall integrity of the psychiatric assessment given to the victim, which includes the medical notes and reporting when the patient is interviewed. Courts will also verify that the provided medical records coincide with the patient’s testimonies and other accounts, and the patient’s overall cooperation during these assessments is also taken into consideration.
  • The patient’s overall credibility, which would include any potential inconsistencies and discrepancies that arise within the case.

There’s no doubt about it that credibility is the main factor, and a major issue with psychological injuries is malingering, which essentially means the patient is exaggerating or faking their symptoms to fulfill a ‘checklist’ for a specific diagnosis. This is why many cases require the assistance of qualified psychologists and psychiatrists to make clinical assessments and test the validity and overall genuineness of a person’s symptoms.

Who is Eligible to Claim Psychological Injuries?

A person’s involvement in a traumatic incident usually needs to fall under the following categories in order to have a valid personal injury claim:

1. Primary Victim

This is when a person was directly involved or suffered harm (physical and/or mental) in a specific incident, which was a result of another party or entity’s breach of duty.

2. Secondary Victim

Secondary victims are those people who unwillingly witnessed a serious injury (or death) of someone else and subsequently suffered a serious psychological injury. In these instances, a person must fulfill the following elements:

  • The psychologically injured person had a very close tie of affection or love with the person who was injured (typically family or other loved one)
  • The person was physically present during the accident
  • The psychologically injured person develops nervous shock from hearing or seeing the incident in irregular ways (not via TV or being told what happened later on)

Receiving Your Rightful Compensation

All personal injury victims are entitled to the financial damages that are a result of any kind of physical or mental injuries, and many times this includes compensation for medical expenses.

For psychological injury victims, this would include things like prescription medication, counseling, and other psychological treatment expenses. Victims can also receive compensation for things like lost wages and a loss of income as a result of the person’s disability that potentially causes them to not be able to return to work.

Emotional distress, as well as pain and suffering, are often compensated for in these types of cases as well.

Contact Us Today to Connect with a New York Psychological Injury Lawyer

If you or a loved one has suffered from a psychological injury that resulted from a specific accident, you very well may have options for legal recourse to hold the responsible parties or entities accountable and recover your rightful compensation towards your financial damages.

Siler & Ingber, LLP is comprised of an entire team of personal injury law experts, and our firm prides itself on our experience in handling all types of psychological injury cases. We’ve helped accident victims across New York for decades, and we’re here to help you recover the compensation you deserve.

Contact us for a free case review so we can go over the details of your situation and help you initiate the first steps towards building a case that will help you recover the necessary funds to help you and your loved ones get through these troubling mental disorders.

The Law Office of Siler & Ingber, LLP


301 Mineola Blvd. Mineola, NY 11501

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