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Can I get compensation for anxiety after a car accident?

On Behalf of | Jan 19, 2024 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Some car accident injuries are obvious. Physical injuries, such as broken bones or a head injury are common types of car accident injuries.

However, not all injuries are physical. In the immediate aftermath of a car accident, you are likely to be focused on your physical injuries.

While these should be treated immediately, you may be in shock after your accident and not realize that you have suffered mental or emotional injuries, as well.

One reason for this could be because sometimes people do not consider a car accident a traumatic enough event to cause lasting harm, but that is not always true. Trauma is defined as anything that is deeply distressing or disturbing and for many people, this includes a car accident.

Experiencing mental or emotional distress after a car accident or noticing psychological changes is common.

Common types of mental conditions caused by a car accident

Depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder are all mental conditions car accident victims may face. Signs of post-traumatic stress disorder include difficulty concentrating, feelings of tension or irritability and sudden angry outbursts.

You may also begin to have strong emotions surrounding riding in a vehicle to the point where you are afraid to drive or even be in a vehicle again. This can cause a multitude of problems that affect your daily life, such as if you need to use a vehicle to get to work or take care of your family.

When you are the victim of a car accident, you may feel confused, lost and wonder where to turn, especially if the accident was the other driver’s fault.

Personal injury actions are based on the legal theory of negligence. This means proving that the other driver failed in their legal duty to drive safely and responsibility and that failure caused your damages.

Proving negligence for physical and mental injuries

You can receive compensation for your damages if you prove the amount that you are asking for. Proving damages from physical injuries or lost wages is usually done through documents such as medical bills or paystubs.

Proving damages for emotional or psychological damages may be trickier, but you could receive compensation for any counseling, medication or psychological treatment that you needed to overcome your suffering and get you back to the condition you were in before your accident.

To increase your chance of receiving compensation, you should seek professional treatment as soon as possible after your accident. A mental health professional can make a specific diagnosis of your condition.

Your mental injuries can then be proven with documents similar to the ones you present for your physical injuries, such as statements from your mental health professional or receipts for treatment.

Rhode Island’s comparative negligence law

Knowing how to prove negligence can make a huge difference, since under Rhode Island law, your compensation could be reduced if the court finds a percentage of your own negligence contributed to the accident.

Anxiety, stress or post-traumatic stress disorder can prevent you from living a happy, productive life. Negligent drivers should be held accountable for their behavior through providing you with fair compensation for your physical and mental wellbeing.