Considering today’s fast-paced lifestyle and the number of cars on Oklahoma’s roadways, the probability for being involved in a car accident and the risk of being seriously injured as the result of a car accident is higher today than it has ever been. Even a minor car accident that might look like a run-of-the-mill fender bender could cause debilitating trauma for someone already suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or a pre-existing physical injury, like chronic back pain.
Though the physical injuries resulting from car accidents are far easier to find and diagnose, major car accidents can also be accompanied by varying degrees of emotional trauma that are far more difficult to diagnose but are no less important. If you been injured in a car accident, you should seek representation from an experienced Oklahoma personal injury attorney as soon as possible to protect your rights and secure compensation.
Symptoms of Emotional Trauma
Roughly nine percent of people who are involved in a car accident develop some degree of post-traumatic stress disorder. This figure does not account for any of the other forms of emotional trauma that can also occur after a car accident such as anxiety, depression, and even phobias. After being involved in a car wreck, you might suffer from a form of emotional trauma if you find yourself experiencing one or more of the following symptoms:
- Sleep loss or sleep disturbances
- Social withdrawal
- Chronic fatigue or exhaustion
- Drastic weight fluctuations
- Obsessive and/or compulsive behaviors
- Moodiness and irritability
- Sudden feelings of loneliness or being overwhelmed
The type of emotional trauma experienced by a victim of a car accident and the degree to which they experience is is dependent on a number of different factors. Each case is unique and some of these factors greatly affect certain individuals while others will not be affected at all. Some of these factors, which can come into play before, during, or after a car accident include:
- The existence of any pre-existing medical conditions
- Reduced social support or coping mechanisms
- The severity of the injuries caused by the car accident
- Not recovering as expected after the car accident
- The death or injury of a loved one in the same car accident
How Can Emotional Trauma Affect Your Case
Oklahoma allows car accident victims to claim emotional distress or pain and suffering in their automobile accident injury claims. Unlike other damages such as medical expenses and lost wages due to missed work, pain and suffering is not a hard and fast dollar amount and can be more difficult to calculate in terms of what is fair and justified.
When it comes to deciding what emotional trauma is worth there are two main methods that courts use. The first is to multiply the actual economic damages by a number between one and five, depending on how severe the victim’s injuries are. The second method for calculating pain and suffering is to use the ‘per diem’ approach. Using this approach, a certain dollar amount is assigned to each day from the car accident up until the victim is fully recovered.
Establishing Emotional Trauma After A Car Accident
Your main tool for recovering emotional damages is going to be how thoroughly your symptoms are documented. Victims should strongly consider keeping a log of all the symptoms they experience such as nightmares, unexplained mood swings, and panic attacks. If these symptoms are enough to keep you from aspects of your normal life such as going to work or out with friends, it is important to take note of that as well. Your employer should also keep a record of days that you had to miss or leave early due to your symptoms or injuries. Your personal injury attorney should also have a copy of all of your documentation to use in defense of your case in court.
How Common is Emotional Trauma After a Car Accident?
Experiencing emotional distress after a car accident is far more common than most people realize. Whether you are able to collect on emotional damages that you have suffered varies widely from case to case and depends greatly on the strength of your case in court. That is why it is imperative to speak to a qualified personal injury attorney as soon as possible after you have been involved in a car accident.
Oklahoma Cat Accident Personal Injury Attorney
If you or someone you love is experiencing emotional traumas after being in a car accident, the McGuire Law Firm is here to help you. Our personal injury attorneys have the experience necessary to ensure that you receive the maximum amount of damages that you are entitled to under the law. If you would like a free consultation with one of our reputable personal injury attorneys regarding your car accident case, then please give us a call at (405) 513-5658 today.