After a serious accident, much attention is paid to the victim’s physical injuries—broken bones, cuts, bruises, and the like. However, the psychological effects of an accident can have a serious negative impact on the victim’s life, sometimes for many years to come. Psychological injuries are often seen as “less serious” than physical injuries, but the truth is that they can have a profound impact on the victim’s quality of life and ability to move on from the accident.
If you or a loved one has suffered psychological injuries due to an accident, contact Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi today. Our skilled personal injury lawyers have spent more than 80 combined years fighting for the injured in New Jersey and New York, collecting more than $300 million in compensation along the way. Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi have the experience and commitment to see your claim through to the very end and hold the guilty party accountable for their negligence. Call (201) 585-9111 or contact us online to speak with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys today.
Types of Psychological Injuries
The psychological impact of an accident can manifest in a number of ways, both physical and mental. Psychological side effects of an accident can include:
- Mood swings
- Hopelessness or sadness
- Lack of concentration
Traumatic events can also give rise to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. This anxiety disorder can have a serious impact on the victim’s day-to-day activities, and it includes symptoms such as flashbacks, nightmares, strong and uncomfortable reactions to events that are similar to the accident, depression, suicidal thoughts, avoidance of certain places or people, lack of concentration, uncontrollable anger, and certain physical symptoms, such as chronic headaches or tachycardia.
Causes of Psychological Injuries
Psychological injuries and symptoms are very different from person to person. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, one person involved might have severe psychological aftereffects, and another person involved might not—it simply depends on the person and their relationship to/perspective of the accident.
Causes of psychological injuries may include:
Facial injuries can have a number of causes, and many are evidence of negligence. Common causes of face injuries include:
- Car accidents, including rear-end collisions, hit-and-run accidents, drunk driving accidents, high-speed collisions, rollover accidents, tire blowouts, and weather-related accidents
- Motorcycle accidents, including lane splitting, speeding, driving under the influence, and road hazards
- Trucking accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Construction accidents
- Workplace injuries
- Medical malpractice
- Defective products
- Premises liability/unsafe building conditions, including slip-and-fall accidents, unsafe buildings, recreational accidents, and inadequate security
- Swimming pool accidents
- Assault by security guards or bouncers
- Amusement park accidents
- Dog bites
Compensation for Psychological Injuries
If you suffered psychological injuries in some sort of accident or negligent event, you could be eligible to recover money in a civil lawsuit. In order to prove your claim, you will have to prove three things: you suffered a psychological injury, the injury was caused by someone else’s negligence, and that display of negligence was the direct cause of your psychological injuries.
Psychological injuries are often more difficult to prove and more difficult to quantify than physical injuries. As such, it is important to talk to a medical professional about your mental health and psychological state; this will greatly help your claim for compensation, as the medical professional can testify to your psychological injuries.
Damages in a personal injury case are divided into two categories: compensatory and punitive damages. The vast majority of personal injury cases deal with compensatory damages, which are designed to compensate the injured person for losses suffered as a result of the accident. Compensatory damages in a speeding accident could include:
- Current and future medical treatment: includes hospitalization costs, ongoing treatment expenses, rehabilitation costs, and any expected future medical expenses
- Lost wages: compensation for wages lost while out of work due to the accident, as well as decreased earning capacity in the future if the injuries will continue to affect the victim
- Property damage: compensation for damage to the victim’s car, clothing, or other personal effects as a result of the accident
- Loss of enjoyment of life: covers loss of enjoyment of day-to-day activities, recreation, hobbies, and exercise
- Pain and suffering: the physical and emotional pain caused by the accident, including the pain of the physical injuries and ongoing emotional trauma
- Emotional distress: the psychological effects of an injury, such as anxiety, sleep loss, or fear (typically awarded in severe accidents)
- Wrongful death: compensation for the family or estate of someone killed by a negligent action
In the case of purely psychological injuries, your damage recovery will mostly deal with emotional distress and pain and suffering.
There is no cap on compensatory damages in the state of New Jersey. This means you are eligible to recover the full amount of damages, so long as you can prove the monetary value of your losses.
Punitive damages are awarded more rarely than compensatory damages. Punitive damages are designed to punish the negligent party for particularly egregious behavior, such as causing an accident on purpose. As such, they are only awarded in certain cases with unusual circumstances.
Contact Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi
Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi are proud to represent the injured throughout New Jersey and New York. Since opening our doors in 1974, we have been committed to the highest standards of excellence in personal injury litigation. Our million-dollar and multi-million-dollar settlements have earned us inclusion in the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, of which fewer than 1 percent of U.S. lawyers are members. Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi was named to U.S. News and World Report’s Best Law Firms list of 2013, and Michael Maggiano and Christopher DiGirolamo have received the highest possible ratings as car accident attorneys by the AVVO Lawyer Ratings service.
With more than 80 years’ worth of combined trial experience, we are prepared to investigate your claim and fight to hold the negligent party accountable for their actions. If you or a loved one has suffered psychological injuries due to an accident, contact us to discuss your legal options. Call (201) 585-9111 or contact us online to schedule your free and confidential consultation today.