Injured Individuals May Have Monetary Recourse For Psychological Harm After A Severe Injury
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.
As well, many people who’ve been seriously injured may experience the pervading unease that the accident or illness could have killed them, and this fear impacts their daily activities.
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 drive a car, return to their job, visit a store or restaurant or even go 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.
Massachusetts civil code Chapter 231 Section 6-D allows for financial compensation for physical injuries’ (economic damages) caused by the negligence, recklessness or intentional misconduct of another including in vehicle accidents and provides compensation for emotional distress and anguish (non-economic damages) through insurance claims and civil lawsuits. The law reads as follows:
In any action of tort brought as a result of bodily injury, sickness or disease, arising out of the ownership, operation, maintenance or use of a motor vehicle within this commonwealth by the defendant, a plaintiff may recover damages for pain and suffering, including mental suffering associated with such injury, sickness or disease, only if the reasonable and necessary expenses incurred in treating such injury, sickness or disease for necessary medical, surgical, x-ray and dental services, including prosthetic devices, and necessary ambulance, hospital, professional nursing and funeral expenses are determined to be in excess of two thousand dollars unless such injury, sickness or disease causes death, or consists in whole or in part of loss of a body member, or (3) consists in whole or in part of permanent and serious disfigurement, or results in such loss of sight or hearing … or consists of a fracture.
Pain And Suffering After A Serious, Injurious Accident Are Compensable Damages
Massachusetts 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 necessarily limited to this list:
▪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 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 about your emotional distress, the stronger such a claim will be. Because emotional wounds are invisible, it’s crucial that your issues are medically documented if you hope to win any monetary settlement separate from your physical recovery.
Personal Injury Attorney Alan Goodman Has Won Multi-Million-Dollar Settlements For Injured People Throughout Massachusetts
Over the past over four decades, attorney Alan Goodman, founding partner of A Good Law Firm® , has represented thousands of injured people throughout Massachusetts and has won MULTI-MILLION-DOLLAR settlements for both physical and emotional injuries caused by another. Because of his successes and personal concern for his clients, attorney Goodman has earned a reputation for helping good people who’ve unfairly endured injuries. As an experienced, skilled negotiator and litigator, he’ll fight aggressively for the just recovery you deserve.
For 40 years, attorney Alan Goodman has helped every day, hard-working Massachusetts people financially recover from the expenses and costs of injuries caused by a reckless or negligent party. Attorney Goodman’s earnest desire is to represent injury victims who’ve been seriously harmed through no fault of their own and win financial settlements that allow them to move forward in their lives.
Personal Injury Statute Of Limitations Are Inflexible—It’s Imperative You Act Quickly
The following details personal injury statute of limitations in Massachusetts:
▪General personal injury is three years.
▪Construction defects causing injury is six years.
▪Injury lawsuits against the state is three years.
Deadlines For Claim Filing Are Strict—Contact A Good Law Firm® Before The Statute Of Limitations Expire
Because the statute of limitations for personal injury claims are inflexible, it’s imperative that you seek skilled legal counsel immediately. For answers to your questions and a free case assessment, call our respectful legal team at A Good Law Firm® to schedule your personal consultation at our Springfield, Massachusetts office. Our phones are answered 24/7 at 413-736-1616. Or if you prefer, send us a confidential message on our contact form to receive a prompt response.