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Don't Leave Out Your Mental Health Needs After An Accident

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Accident victims usually don't take action when it comes to their physical injuries. However, many fail to take into account their mental health needs after an accident. You might not know that your mental health status is a form of damage, just like your wrecked vehicle and lost wages are. Read on to learn what form of damage your mental health status takes on, and how to be paid what you deserve.

Economic and Non-Economic Forms of Damages

Those meeting with their personal injury lawyer might hear them mention complex terms but not understand what they mean, so here is a short explanation. Economic damages are those that are obviously tied to a certain sum of money. Here are some examples of economic damages after a car accident:

  • Medical expenses are tied to the dollar amount of your medical treatment bills.
  • Personal property damages are tied to how much it costs to repair your vehicle.
  • Lost wages are tied to the amount of income you lost as a result of the accident.

However, mental health issues are considered non-economic because they are not based on a dollar amount. Instead, mental health treatment costs are lumped in with your medical expenses and are considered a form of economic damage. How, then, are victims paid for their mental health needs? Through the damage category known as pain and suffering.

What is Pain and Suffering?

It only makes sense that something called pain and suffering is linked to mental health needs as well as their physical needs. This form of damage makes it possible to take your mental health needs and turn them into payments for settlement purposes. The way insurers handle this form of damage varies, but most use one of the below methods for computing pain and suffering.

  • Some insurers use the daily method. Each day since the accident, a dollar amount is assigned, and then the days are added up.
  • Some use the medical expenses factor. The dollar amount of the victim's medical expenses is multiplied by a factor to determine the pain and suffering payment.

What Victims Can Do

  • Attend your mental health needs and keep up with your expenses.
  • Keep a journal of your struggles to deal with the depression, anxiety, mood swings, eating and sleeping disturbances, and other mental health problems that occur after an accident.

Speak to a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after an accident and learn what you can do to be paid this extremely important and valuable form of compensation after an accident. Contact a local personal injury law firm, such as Williams & Swee, to learn more.