If you have been involved in an accident with a truck, you have probably experienced some physical injuries. While these can be quite severe, sometimes they do not compare to the psychological injuries that can result from such trauma. These injuries can be much harder to prove than those that show up on x-rays, but this difficulty does not negate the fact that they exist. Understanding that these psychological issues are normal following an accident, will not only help you seek treatment for them, but establishing the existence of your psychological injuries will also help your attorney seek the compensation that you deserve.
It is not unusual for someone who has been in a traumatic truck accident to experience severe emotional distress following the accident. While compensation for psychological injuries used to only be awarded when there was an award for physical damages, courts are beginning to see this in a different light.
- Changes in your sleep patterns - This sometimes includes sleeping more than normal, or not being able to fall asleep or stay asleep.
- Changes in your eating patterns, or changes in your normal weight - Some people will eat when they are depressed, nervous, or stressed, while others cannot bring themselves to eat.
- Difficulty controlling your emotions - When you are experiencing severe emotional distress, your mind sometimes has difficulty processing information, and may become easily overloaded. This may come out in bursts of anger, tears, or other emotions that are uncharacteristic of you.
- Physical symptoms that have no other explanation - The human body can often have an interesting response to stress, and will often produce physical symptoms that have no other root causes. Some physical symptoms that you may experience as a result of your psychological trauma are:
- Stomach ulcers
- Insomnia or nightmares
- Loss of appetite
- Sexual dysfunction
- Mood swings
- Muscle tension
If your emotional distress is severe, your doctor may diagnose you with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
When you hear about Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), you often think of soldiers who have been to war. While this psychological disorder is suffered by many military personnel, it has been shown that automotive accidents are one of the leading causes of PTSD in the general population. If you find yourself having difficulty mentally recovering from the accident, or developing a fear related to driving, or riding in your vehicle, you too may be suffering from this disorder. Talk to your physician about the symptoms that you are experiencing. Not only will they be able to diagnose you, but they will be able to help to develop a treatment plan to get you on the road to recovery.
How You Can Help Your Attorney Prove Your Case
As previously stated, psychological injuries are harder to prove than physical injuries. To receive adequate compensation, you will want to ensure that you always work with an attorney that is well versed in the law pertaining to truck accidents. But even the best attorneys will need evidence that they can present to the court. Here are a few things that they may need to prove your case.
Related Bodily Harm - If your psychological injuries are manifesting in physical ways, the injury will be easier to prove.
Make sure your attorney has copies of any medical treatments that you incur following the accident. Those minor symptoms that you do not feel are relevant to the accident may be more important than you think.
Duration - While many physical symptoms may manifest themselves immediately following the accident, you will definitely want to seek medical treatment for those that do not go away. Not only will treatment hopefully help to get you on the road to recovery, but seeking treatment will help your attorney show the courts the duration, or how long you have been experiencing your particular symptoms.
Documentation - In additional to your medical records, your attorney may ask your doctor to write a letter to the court pertaining to your injuries and subsequent treatment. A note from your physician or your psychologist will go a long ways in proving your claim.
Help your attorney gather all the information they need to make a strong case for court, showing you have experienced significant psychological injuries. This may be either in addition to your physical injuries, or even if you have not experienced physical injuries. The stronger your case, the greater your chances of receiving compensation.
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