How to Know if an Accident Victim Has Psychological Damage

Following a serious accident for which a lawsuit has been filed, victims manifest psychological symptoms that may be a result of the accident. Confusion, fluctuating emotions, and lack of concentration can change an accident victim’s quality of life, short-term or long-term. While it is natural to feel jolted by an accident, symptoms that linger or worsen should be discussed with personal injury lawyers representing the victim.

Ability to work.

Some accidents cause psychological issues that need to be diagnosed by professional psychologists or psychiatrists. Specialists like a neuropsychologist may be consulted, as well. If tests reveal the accident victim has brain damage or a psychological disorder, he or she may be urged to apply for temporary disability. Subsequent retesting will likely be ordered for a reevaluation to determine if the condition is permanent. If the plaintiff is unaware that he or she is manifesting psychological changes that interfere with the ability to do his or her job as before the accident, the supervisor may advise the employee to take time off work to recover, and following medical diagnosis, the victim might need to apply for disability status.

Relationship changes.

Someone who has been in a serious accident could begin to experience relationship issues. The victim could become unresponsive, uncommunicative, and apathetic, not because feelings for the relationship partner have changed, but due to the effects of the accident injury. The inability to enjoy a loved one’s company or to engage in meaningful conversation or activities takes a toll on many relationships and may be a warning sign of psychological disturbances resulting from the accident. Compensation for psychological injuries may sometimes include marital strain, such as loss of consortium, or family life disruptions.

Emotional upheaval.

Crying jags, emotional withdrawal, and anger outbursts are common symptoms of emotional distress. Although these things can occur without an accident injury, their persistence or severity might indicate a serious problem. A person who experiences significant mood swings following an accident should be encouraged to see a psychologist or doctor for testing and diagnosis and to determine if evidence exists for emotional distress damages.

Personality shift.

In certain types of accident injuries, a victim’s personality can change dramatically. A formerly-reserved person might become outgoing and talkative. Someone who was mean-spirited could turn into a jovial person. Sometimes the change isn’t as noticeable, but subtleties can be discerned. For example, a trusting person might become more suspicious of others.

The victim, family members, coworkers, and medical experts can help to diagnose issues like mental anguish in an accident victim. A personal injury attorney can advise an accident victim of signs to look for or the type of experts to consult for help in diagnosing psychological problems.