Attorneys General from New York, California, North Carolina, Massachusetts and Illinois – along with several municipalities across the United States
At Swartz & Swartz PC., we know that some of most difficult injuries to prove after a car crash arethe ones you can’t see – emotional and psychological injuries that are often present long after your physical injuries have healed.
The fact of the matter is, phycological injuries can cause as much damage as the physical injuries you suffer. Just like victims who have suffered a physical injury, if you have also suffered psychological trauma, you may be entitled to receive monetary compensation in a personal injury case. What you need to know is that it is often more difficult to prove you have suffered a mental or emotional injury. That’s why hiring the right attorney is so important.
In personal injury cases the majority of psychological injuries are referred to as ‘pain and suffering.’ These injuries can range from distress, shock, fear, and anger to severe problems such as anxiety and even post-traumatic stress disorder. Let’s take a closer look at the legal process leading up to a personal injury claim being filed in a car crash scenario.
Under Massachusetts No Fault Rules, drivers involved in car accidents cannot take each other to court unless certain conditions are met.When a crash happens, you first have to file a claim with your insurance company for personal injury protection and other benefits, as set out in Massachusetts Ann. Laws Chapter 90, Section 34M. Only if your medical bills are more than $2,000 or if the car accident caused you injuries like broken bones or a loss of hearing – ‘serious injuries’ – can you file a personal injury claim against the other driver or your insurance company.
If you read our blog often, you’ll know that personal injury claims are centered around a legal concept called ‘negligence.’ Staying with our car crash example, your personal injury claim will essentially assert that the driver of the car that crashed into yours was negligent. In legal terms we say that the other driver owed you a duty of care, but breached their duty when they crashedtheir car into yours, and that breach caused you to suffer physical and psychological injuries
In personal injury cases the majority of psychological injuries are referred to as ‘pain and suffering.’
Let’s revisit to psychological injures and what you need to do to prove them. Just like your physical injuries were documented through medical records, medical bills and evidence submitted by a qualified physician, your psychological injuries need to be similarly documented and submitted as evidence.
Proving psychological injuries usually starts with an evaluation that your lawyer can help organize with a reputable health care provider like a social worker, psychologist or a psychiatrist. As the victim of the car accident you need to determine the ways you’ve been emotionally impacted by the accident. For example, since your accident, maybe you can’t drive without experiencing panic attacks or you can’t sleep at night because every time you close your eyes you relive the accident over-and-over again. This is something that you and your lawyer can discuss together before the evaluation to help you organize your thoughts and specific impacts your accident hashad on your daily life. Keeping a journal or a diary can be extremely helpful.
Your lawyer may also ask your friends and family for testimony—especially if they’ve been around you a lot since the accident and have an understanding of how you’ve been impacted and importantly, how your behavior has changed. Your attorney will also want to know if you have started taking any psychiatric medication since your accident – medications that can help manage anxiety and depression, for example:
Car accident claims are tricky – don’t go it alone, give Swartz & Swartz PC. a call now. Our experienced lawyers can help you navigate the complexities of filing a personal injury claim aftera car accident and make sure that your psychological injuries get the attention and compensation you deserve. Give us a call now.
James Swartz, our Managing and Principal Attorney at Swartz & Swartz P.C., is a nationally recognized and respected trial attorney as well as consumer advocate. His practice focuses on cases involving negligence, torts, products liability, medical malpractice, wrongful death, and other claims involving catastrophic injuries.
If you or someone you know, needs help from a lawyer, contact the law offices of Swartz & Swartz, use our live chat, or send us a message using the form below and we’ll get in touch to assess your case and how we can help.