Motor Vehicle Accidents and Psychological Injuries

Motor Vehicle Accidents-and-Psychological -njuries
It may be a lesser known fact but a psychological injury in some form or another, is common after motor vehicle accidents. Those involved in the crash may suffer physical injuries but also mental trauma as a result which could manifest in the form of anxiety, depression or post-traumatic stress.

Psychological injury can also occur even though there are no long-term or permanent physical injury. Immediate family members of the person involved in the accident or even fellow passengers may develop shock as a result of the trauma, especially if it’s a fatal accident.

Take our hardworking shop assistant client, for example; her life was ruined when a motor vehicle cut across her path causing her to crash. She suffered many physical injuries, but the impact of her accident on her psychologically has left her depressed, frustrated and with an inability to function as she did before the crash.

Simon Meigan, Partner and Accredited Specialist in Personal Injury here at Taylor & Scott, was able to help her with a motor accident claim against the CTP insurer of the vehicle at fault.

What are some of the symptoms of psychological injury?
Symptoms can include panic attacks, emotional distress and a reluctance to open up about the mental impact of the event. Sufferers may refuse to return to the scene of the incident, or continuously relive it in their minds, suffer from insomnia and be unable to relax and concentrate.

Who decides if these symptoms are a direct result of an accident?
A clinical review and assessment by a Psychiatrist will support your compensation claim. Some psychological injuries are easy to diagnose and document, while others are not that easy to assess. The treatment report will factor in the patient’s past mental health to determine if it has indeed been affected by the accident.

The Psychiatrist will record all symptoms and provide a diagnosis, comment on the permanency of impairment, and then determine the degree of permanent impairment, if any, using the Psychiatric Impact Ratings Scales (PIRS).

The Psychiatrist must consider the level of functional impairment concerning the following criteria:

  • Self-care and personal hygiene
  • Social & recreational activities
  • Travel
  • Social Functioning
  • Concentration, persistence and pace
  • Employability/adaptability

Unless you are assessed to have suffered at least 11% whole person impairment (WPI) you are not entitled to any amount for pain and suffering; no matter what you have been through since the accident. Getting you over the threshold for pain and suffering is where Taylor & Scott lawyers can help you.

NSW has compulsory third party insurance coverage which protects those injured in a car accident. But there can be many hurdles and legal grey areas when making compensation claims for mental harm caused by motor vehicle accidents. That’s why it’s important to seek the advice of expert personal injury lawyers like the Taylor & Scott team, who can help establish that a duty of care was breached and caused the psychological injury, to support your case.

Taylor & Scott’s Offer to You
If you are injured in a motor vehicle accident, either as a driver, passenger or pedestrian, our team of dedicated experts in motor accident personal injury claims are here to help. If we act for you, we will do so on a no-win/no-pay basis, meaning you don’t pay Taylor & Scott any costs whatsoever unless and until you win your case.

Taylor & Scott will do everything we can to ensure you receive maximum compensation for the injuries you have suffered.

Need help with a claim? Arrange an appointment using our online contact form or call 1800 600 664.

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