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Is Psychological Trauma Considered an Injury After a Car Accident?

The effects of a car accident are often quite visible. From noticeable damage to your vehicle to obvious scrapes and bruises on a victim, car accidents commonly leave behind a trail of destruction. But what about the effects that can’t be seen? Psychological trauma is a very real condition.

Victims can suffer from this after enduring any type of traumatic event such as abuse, witnessing violence, or being involved in a car accident. This trauma can manifest itself in many ways and can make day-to-day activities challenging or even impossible.

What Is Psychological Trauma?

Psychological trauma is defined as damage or injury to the psyche after living through an extremely frightening or distressing event. The circumstances around the traumatic event actually change the victim’s brain and can alter the way that their body responds to certain stimuli.

Psychological Trauma Symptoms

Symptoms associated with psychological trauma include:

  • Depression
  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Humiliation
  • Difficulty sleeping and nightmares
  • Mood swings
  • New fears associated with the event (ex: fear of driving, fear of animals, etc.)
  • Physical signs of stress (ex: ulcers, tics, headaches)
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Compensation for Car Accident Mental Trauma

The effects of psychological trauma after a car accident can make it challenging or even impossible for a victim to continue living their life in the same way as they did before the car accident. It can be difficult to return to work and in turn, earn an income to support a family. As a part of an accident settlement, you may be eligible for psychological trauma damages to cover the following expenses:

  • Medical expenses
  • Medical anguish
  • Emotional distress
  • Decrease in quality of life
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of productivity

Who Is Eligible for Psychological Trauma Damages in Indiana?

Traumatic events affect people in different ways. There may be compensation available to you even if you were not directly involved in the event. Those who may make claims for psychological trauma include:

  • The victim who suffered physical injuries after the car accident
  • Someone directly involved who was not injured
  • A bystander or witness to the accident

How Do You Prove Emotional Trauma in Indiana?

There are several ways to produce evidence of psychological trauma. Medical records showing that you sought medical attention for your symptoms, recording of prescriptions for anxiety, and testimony from medical experts regarding your care can all be used to support your case. If you are unable to return to work, statements from supervisors or coworkers can go along with your claim as well.

Consider keeping a journal to record your thoughts and feelings following the car accident. This can offer insight into the length of time that you were affected by the car accident and how it impacted your physical and mental well-being. 

To win compensation for your psychological trauma claim, you need to prove the following:

  • Your trauma is ongoing and not temporary
  • The negligence of someone else involved in the car accident directly caused your traumatic experience
  • Your trauma is significant medically

What Type of Compensation Can I Receive for Psychological Trauma?

Psychological trauma is considered a noneconomic damage following a car accident. A personal injury attorney can’t determine how much money you may receive as every case is unique. However, in cases involving noneconomic damages, the state of Indiana does impose caps on the amount of compensation you can receive depending on the circumstances that caused the psychological trauma. For example, if you were a victim of a medical malpractice case, you can only be awarded up to $1.25 million.

Indiana’s comparative negligence rule states that victims may receive less compensation in their settlement if they were partially responsible for the accident. So if it is determined that you did have some fault in your car accident case, your settlement will be reduced by the amount of fault that you are given. For example, if you were determined to be 10% at fault for your accident and were awarded a $100,000 settlement, you would only receive $90,000.

Expert Guidance from Personal Injury Attorneys in Indiana

Suffering from psychological trauma is something that no one should ever have to go through alone. When your life has been affected in such a significant way, you need all the help you can get to work through your experience and move on with your life. Allow the Indianapolis car accident attorneys at Crossen Law Firm to evaluate your case and help you get the compensation you need and deserve to move forward.

Get started on your case today by scheduling a free consultation about your situation. Call (317) 401-8626 or contact us online.