Getting involved in an accident can affect you in more ways than one. You may suffer from physical injuries, but you could also experience significant emotional distress or the signs of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This invisible type of harm can be just as difficult to deal with and overcome as your visible injuries. In the eyes of Nevada law, you may be entitled to financial compensation for emotional distress in a personal injury claim. Our Las Vegas personal injury lawyers can help you get started on this process.
Mental Health Disorders
A person suffering from emotional distress after an accident can notice a wide variety of signs and symptoms. Every case is unique. The symptoms may only last a few days or weeks or could follow a victim around for many years. It depends on the circumstances of the accident, how the injury was sustained, the individual’s history and many other factors.
Three mental health disorders are common among people suffering from emotional distress after a traumatic accident:
- Depression: chronic sadness or episodes of depressed moods, such as feeling empty, hopeless or irritable. It can cause a loss of pleasure or interest in activities, trouble concentrating, hopelessness about the future, trouble sleeping, and thoughts of suicide or dying.
- Anxiety: excessive fear and worry, often resulting in significant distress or impairment in the ability to function. There are several types of anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety, panic disorder, separation anxiety and social anxiety.
- PTSD: psychological harm caused by witnessing or experiencing a traumatic event, such as a car accident or sexual assault. Symptoms can include flashbacks, nightmares, avoidance of triggers, trouble sleeping and heightened anxiety.
If an accident victim is diagnosed by a mental health care professional with any of these disorders, this can serve as proof of emotional distress for a personal injury claim. It is important to talk about what you are feeling and experiencing with your doctor, who can recommend you to a psychiatrist or psychologist for an official diagnosis and treatment plan.
Fluctuations in Sleeping or Eating Habits
Being in a state of emotional distress can disrupt your typical sleeping and/or eating patterns. If you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t go back to sleep or notice trouble falling asleep, chronic fatigue, nightmares, sleeping more or less than usual, losing or gaining a significant amount of weight, a loss of appetite, or an eating disorder, this could be a sign of emotional distress.
Mood Swings, Irritability or Changes in Behavior
Changes in mood and behavior are common in people who are experiencing emotional distress after a personal injury. Going through a traumatic accident and trying to adapt to life with a serious injury can be overwhelming. These lifestyle changes, along with potential issues such as depression and anxiety, can lead to increased irritability, outbursts, aggression, frustration and mood swings. You may also pull away from people and things, have trouble readjusting to your life, or turn to drinking or doing drugs to cope.
Emotional distress can take a physical manifestation. You may notice physical symptoms associated with your distressed emotional state, such as chest pain, increased heart rate, heaviness in your chest, general body aches or pains, headaches, clenching your jaw, shortness of breath, dizziness, weight changes, gastrointestinal problems, and decreased libido. You may also experience the physical signs of a panic attack, such as a racing heart, chills, sweating, trembling and difficulty breathing.
Compensation for Emotional Injuries in Nevada
If you are suffering from emotional distress after an accident or injury in Nevada, consult with a personal injury attorney about the possibility of seeking financial compensation for this type of loss. State law allows accident victims to recover compensation for noneconomic damages, including emotional harm, psychological trauma, PTSD, loss of enjoyment of life and mental anguish. An attorney can help you pursue the financial compensation that you deserve.