Have You Suffered An Emotional Or Psychiatric Injury As a Result Of An Accident?
There are two categories of emotional and/or psychiatric injury.
It is important for you to understand the difference between these two categories, because one category is easy to prove and the other one can be very tricky and difficult.
Deciding whether to proceed on an injury of this nature must be a decision that you make very carefully and with the input of your lawyer and doctors and family.
Fear worry and mental anguish
The first category of emotional or psychological injury is what I call “fear, worry, and mental anguish”.
I did not invent those words. Those words come out of a case discussing what damages and injured person can claim in a personal injury lawsuit in the state of Illinois.
All you really need to know is that in almost every car crash or traumatic injury, people feel fear, surprise, and anxiety. There is the anxiety of the injury producing event itself, and then there is worry and concern about healing from your injuries and getting back to work. I’d say the number one concern people have is whether they will ever recover and when they can return to work and earn money for themselves and their family.
These kinds of injuries and emotions are a natural part of being injured. Illinois case law says that these sorts of injuries can be claimed without the use of a psychiatrist or counselor. The injured person or his or her spouse friends or family can testify as to the worry and concern of the injured person.
Claiming these sorts of injuries do not open up your background or past history of counseling or psychotherapy. Almost every injury case involves these elements of damages, and they are routinely claimed in these sorts of cases.
Claiming these sorts of injuries is a standard part of injury case, and nothing to worry about.
Serious emotional or psychological harm
If the emotional or psychological harm suffered in the traumatic event which caused your injury has had profound negative effect on your life and have caused you to go into psychiatric medication and seek counseling, therapy, or psychotherapy, you may consider making a formal claim for psychological or emotional injury.
These sorts of injuries must be proven by a doctor or counselor.
The challenge with these more serious kinds of claims is that making a claim of this sort opens up your past history. In every injury case, insurance companies are allowed to look into your health background to see if you have injuries from the past which are related to the current injury being claimed.
But when you make a serious emotional or psychological injury claim, you have opened the door for the defense attorney hired by the insurance company to depose your counselor or psychiatrist.
The insurance company lawyer is also allowed to take depositions of people who are important in your life including ex husbands or wives and old friends and coworkers. They are allowed to get into the details of any old emotional upset or psychiatric injury.
The insurance company lawyers are allowed to and will seek medical records for any counseling or therapist you have ever seen in your life, even if it relates to sensitive issues of your being abused in the past.
From my perspective, this is really dirty pool. While I understand the insurance company lawyers desire to protect the insurance companies money, I truly believe that the way they go about defending emotional and psychiatric injury cases is mainly to intimidate and embarrass the injured person and make process of litigation and claims so unpleasant that they abandoned the claim.
So I always tell my clients that if they want to make a formal claim for psychiatric medication, counseling, and some sort of permanent injury, including depression, anxiety, or what ever serious symptoms they are living with, they must be prepared for a rough road.
An experienced attorney can enter a protective order in court to attempt to limit the scope of the questions the insurance company lawyer is allowed to ask and what documents he or she is allowed to order from your doctors in the past.
Sometimes, a person is able to make injury claim on their own and they don’t need aware. But if you are claiming an emotional or psychological injury, speaking with an attorney and getting their opinion on the matter is essential.
I offer a free case evaluation. You can call me and everything we discussed will be private, whether you hire me or not.
Or if you are not ready to speak with a lawyer, look at the sidebar on this webpage and fill out the form to get your free copy of my injury DVD video which I can deliver to you via e-mail or directly to your home in the mail, your choice. Same deal, 100% free and no obligation.
I hope this information has helped you understand the delicate nature of emotional injury claim for a psychiatric injury claim.
Please feel free to call me if I can answer any more questions.