A severe physical injury because of the negligence or recklessness of another person or entity may not be just physically traumatizing. As a severely injured person attempts to recover from physical wounds, they may also experience a multitude of distressing emotions. In fact, studies show that severe physical injuries can cause psychological, cognitive and emotional overwhelm. To complicate the injury incident, psychological impairment may impact physical recovery.
For instance, the emotional trauma of injuries from a slip-and-fall, car accident, assault and other serious accidents can increase the risk of a person experiencing anxiety, depression, panic attacks, anger and frustration, isolative tendencies, decreased motivation, insomnia, substance abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among other emotional problems.
Many people who’ve been seriously injured may also experience the pervading unease that the accident or illness could have killed them, and this fear impacts their daily activities.
Emotional Distress After a Severe Injury
After your severe injury, though you may have previously been content and happy, you now have emotions that interfere with your quality of life. And if you’re embarrassed to acknowledge new psychological issues such as depression, humiliation, shame, terror and/or unexplained crying episodes, you should know that these feelings are not unusual for a victim of a severe injury or illness. In many cases, a severely injured individual may also become overly cautious, afraid to do even simple things such as driving a car, returning to their job, visiting a store or restaurant or even going for a walk.
Though you may secretly think you’re the only person who has ever felt this way after an injurious accident, it’s important to know that you are not alone. While you may think that you shouldn’t be as upset as you are, how a person responds emotionally to an injury may differ substantially because each person’s coping mechanisms are unique to them. Though a brief initial emotional reaction to an injury is normal, longer-term negative emotions where the severity of emotional symptoms seem excessive may require treatment from a psychiatrist or therapist.
Because emotional and psychological trauma are such common human responses to severe injuries, laws have been created to monetarily compensate victims not only for their physical damages but also their emotional suffering.
Louisiana Civil Code Article 2315 allows for financial compensation for physical injuries’ (economic damages) caused by the negligence, recklessness or intentional misconduct of another and also provides compensation for emotional distress and anguish (non-economic damages) through insurance claims and civil lawsuits.
Louisiana law provides for pain and suffering—emotional distress after an injuring accident because of the negligence, recklessness or intentional misconduct of another—and may include recovery for the following but is not limited to this list:
- ▪Emotional suffering
- Psychological distress and anxiety
- Loss of enjoyment/quality of life
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of consortium and sexual relations
- Anguish over disfigurement, amputation or paralysis.
When a claim or lawsuit is filed for financial recovery or “compensatory damages,” the injuring party may be compelled or ordered to pay the injured person for both their physical injuries and their emotional harm.
To successfully win a monetary recovery for pain and suffering, the injured person’s psychological distress must be severe, debilitating and render a person unable to carry on as they did before the injury.
It’s vitally important that when you visit a doctor for your injury, you should also share your troubling psychological symptoms. Ideally, you should seek specialized psychiatric or psychological care to be evaluated and diagnosed for your post-injury emotional problems. Of course, it’s not nearly enough to tell an insurance company or judge that you’re upset about your accident, and the more evidence you can produce of your emotional distress, the stronger such a claim will be. Because emotional wounds are invisible, it’s critical that your issues are medically documented if you hope to win any monetary settlement separate from your physical recovery.
Personal Injury Attorney Joseph Greenwald Will Fight For Injured People Throughout Shreveport and Bossier City
Greenwald Law Firm has represented hundreds of injured people throughout Louisiana and has won settlements for both physical and emotional injuries caused by another. Greenwald earned a reputation for helping good people who’ve unfairly endured injuries. As experienced, skilled negotiators and litigators, they’ll fight aggressively for the just recovery you deserve.