4 Steps Toward Receiving Compensation for a Traumatic Car Accident
Recovering physically from an automobile accident can take months or even years, and in some ways, your body may never recover. However, recovering from the mental effects of an automobile accident can take much longer. According to Matthew Tull, professor of psychology at the University of Toledo, those who have a past history of trauma and a family history of psychopathology are much more likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after an accident. While receiving compensation for mental anguish will not undo your memories of the car accident, you may find it easier to focus on your recovery. There are several steps you should follow as you seek compensation for your mental anguish.
1. Understand the Psychological Effects of a Car Accident
You may be forced to relive your traumatic experience through flashbacks and nightmares. You may also find that memories of the accident have several effects on your life, such as:
- Avoidance of certain areas
- An inability to drive without being paralyzed with fear
- A sense of depression or hopelessness
- Difficulty concentrating
Fortunately, therapists may offer treatment options that can help you overcome your traumatic experience. For example, exposure therapy can help combat PTSD. However, there is no reason why you should be forced to pay for your mental health treatment yourself.
2. Seek Compensation for Mental Anguish
When working with an automobile accident attorney, you will not only calculate the physical damages you have suffered and damage done to your car but also pain, suffering, and mental anguish. There is no specific formula for calculating these non-economic damages, and you will need help from an attorney to estimate how much compensation you truly deserve for mental anguish.
3. Know the Compensation Cap for Your State
Most states have a limit regarding how much compensation you may receive. This can provide you with a maximum amount which you may aim at. The higher you aim, the easier you may find it to negotiate for a higher settlement.
4. Explain the Extent of Your Suffering After the Accident
If you have undergone a therapy session and if you must pay for psychiatric medication, you may be entitled to compensation directly for these expenses. However, you will also need to explain what it is like to live with PTSD induced by the accident. By describing this to your automobile accident attorney, he or she may then create the best case for why you deserve more for your mental anguish