Damages for Depression after Car Accident

There is enough research to indicate that depression and other symptoms of emotional distress continue for months or even years after a car accident. Those long-term consequences can include phobias, irrational fears, and depression. In fact, studies have indicated that at least one -third of all people involved in injurious accidents suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, phobias, and anxiety for at least one year after the incident. Post-accident depression can be compensated by the at-fault driver, read on to find out how.

How to Claim Damages for Depression after Car Accident

While it is simpler and more straightforward to prove physical injuries in an accident, a person may find it much more challenging to determine emotional wounds, like depression. That is because there are no tools that can clearly measure the extent and severity of the symptoms of depression, or even whether they do exist. It doesn't make it easier than many insurance fraud investigators try to disprove claims of emotional distress, alleging that these damages are only included to amplify the value of the claim.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Accident victims frequently suffer emotionally. If you have suffered emotional distress after an accident, note down all your symptoms. Maintain a journal of your feelings and document these symptoms, to help you file a claim.

When you are receiving medical treatment for injuries, inform your doctor about any symptoms of depression so that they are documented.

  • Frequent irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Irrational fears
  • Loss of appetite

If you are now taking antidepressants or begun counseling to treat depression, record information about the sessions as well. It is challenging to measure depression, and, therefore, it is important for you to maintain documentation related to your emotional injuries.

What Should I Do if I Suspect Depression?

If you or a loved one suspect that you are suffering from depression here are some ideas of what to do:

1. Ask for help because you may need it, Don't try to deal with it on your own;

2. Talk to a trusted family member or friend to see if they have noticed any changes to you;

3. Talk to a trusted medical and/or mental health provider that you have seen in the past;

4. Depending upon the severity of your symptoms (for example, if you are considering suicide, hurting yourself or others) seek immediate attention by going to your local hospital emergency room or to a mental health hospital. 

Remember, having depression is normal especially after you have been through the trauma and loss that a car crash can cause.  It is okay to ask for help and failing to seek help can result in your depression being ignored by the insurance company and eventually a judge and/or jury.  It is much better to document the problems you are having with a medical provider than to try to fix the condition on your own.  Seeking help for depression is common and approximately 13% of the US population is on antidepressants.  You may or may not need medication and/or counseling, but it is better to seek help and find out instead of living with untreated depression. 

For some injured Iowans being able to express their emotions caused by the car crash with a counselor can help a lot.  Keeping the emotions bottled up inside can lead to more problems. 

Get Help Proving Depression after Car Crash

Depression after a car accident is compensable. Speak to a car crash lawyer in Des Moines about filing a claim for compensation for your emotional injuries after an accident. Call 641-792-3595 to speak with a Des Moines attorney at Walker Billingsley and Bair, or schedule a consultation by filling out the online contact form.

Corey Walker
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With over 22 years legal experience, Corey has been recognized for his work as an injury attorney.