emotional compensation

A personal injury can be an extremely stressful event and while the physical injuries may heal after a while, the effects of the emotional trauma may last much longer. It is not uncommon to find the victim of a grave accident struggling to deal with anxiety, disturbing memories, and upsetting emotions that interfere with their ability to function normally. Considering the significance of this aspect, New York personal injury laws allow the affected person to pursue compensation for not just physical injuries, but also the emotional pain and suffering sustained in an accident.

Why Does Physical Injury Lead to Emotional Trauma?

A person who suffers severe physical injuries in an accident may have to undergo extensive medical treatment and surgery to set the body right. It may take a while for this person to get back to their normal lifestyle and pursue their routine activities as they did before the injury.

In some cases, severe injuries may cause a permanent change in one’s ability to perform the activities they previously did with ease. Losing one’s ability to function independently and having to depend on help for the simplest of routine activities such as grooming oneself, or walking can take a huge emotional toll on most people.

In quite a few cases, the victim’s inability to handle or manage their emotional trauma may also lead to interpersonal relationship issues with loved ones, causing further stress. In major auto accident cases in New York, the injured victim may find themselves reliving the horrifying experience and suffering from extreme anxiety, fear, and sleeplessness due to their memories of the incident that do not fade out over time.

How Can You Recognize Emotional Trauma?

Every individual reacts to stressful situations in unique ways, but there are a few telltale signs that indicate the presence of psychological trauma, such as:

  • Feeling easily fatigued
  • Having difficulty falling asleep or experiencing sleep disturbances
  • Feeling numb and disconnected from events around you
  • Being easily startled
  • Feeling mentally confused
  • Finding it difficult to concentrate
  • Feeling a sense of shock or disbelief
  • Being irritable or angry or suffering mood swings
  • Preferring one’s own company and withdrawing from social interactions
  • Feeling a sense of guilt about the incident
  • Experiencing a rapid heartbeat, muscle tension, or numerous aches and pains for no specific reason

All such indicators of psychological trauma fall under the term of ‘pain and suffering’ and New York law recognizes the emotions of shock, grief, anxiety, fear, humiliation, embarrassment, apprehension, and stress as mental anguish. Auto accident victims in New York City often report these symptoms after an injury.

How Long Does it Take to Recover From Trauma?

While doctors may be able to reasonably predict the time required to recover from a physical injury, it is almost impossible to clearly state the time required for emotional healing. Most people experience the symptoms of trauma in an intense manner for the first few days or weeks following the stressful event.

If events have caused deeper emotional scarring, these effects may last for months or even years together. Even persons who have healed from the emotional trauma may often find themselves re-experiencing their pain when they come across anything that reminds them of the accident.

If your emotional trauma symptoms do not gradually fade away or if you find them growing increasingly worse despite the passage of what is considered a reasonable time frame, it could be an indication that you are suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Should You Seek Professional Help for Your Emotional Injuries?

In times of emotional crisis following an auto accident in NYC, most people turn to their loved ones including family and friends to tide over the trauma. Often, the help and support you receive from these quarters is sufficient to get you back to some semblance of normal emotion.

However, there may be instances when you do not have any such resources to turn to; or there may be situations when you find your trauma failing to heal despite their support. In such cases, it makes sense to seek professional therapy in New York for your psychological trauma.

You may be a candidate for therapy if you find yourself:

  • Actively avoiding things that remind you of the traumatic event
  • Suffering severe anxiety or fear
  • Having repeated nightmares or flashbacks of the event that leave you terrified
  • Feeling depressed and having a lack of enthusiasm for the things you previously enjoyed doing
  • Unable to function in your usual way at work or at home
  • Shying away from social interactions
  • Increasingly needing to turn to alcohol or drugs to deal with your pain

How to Find the Right NYC Therapist for Emotional Trauma?

Therapy for emotional trauma is not an easy task – you may have to go through a lot more trauma before you can heal. Therefore, it is vital that you get the support you require from an experienced NYC trauma specialist with whom you feel comfortable.

When you first visit a therapist, observe your reactions to them. Ask yourself if you feel comfortable talking to them, and feel understood by them. Pay attention to how they treat you – did they truly listen to you with respect and understand your pain without dismissing or trivializing your concerns? Mutual trust and respect is very important for successful therapy so make sure you find a therapist whom you can trust.

What are the Types of Therapy Used to Deal with Emotional Trauma in New York?

Recovering from emotional trauma calls for a gradual and complete resolution of the memories and unpleasant emotions your mind associates with places and people. Trauma specialists use a variety of therapy techniques to help in emotional healing. The most important ones include:

  • Cognitive Behavior Therapy
  • Sensorimotor Therapy
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy
  • Prolonged Exposure Therapy

Is it Possible to Receive Damages for Mental Suffering in NYC?

Under New York law, emotional distress falls under the category of a tort. So, if you have suffered emotional suffering and trauma due to an injury, the person who caused it can be held responsible for the harm they caused you.

When you file for compensation for any form of personal injury, it is possible to recover damages for emotional distress too. To be able to do so, you will have to prove that:

  • You were subject to outrageous conduct of an extreme nature
  • This conduct is what resulted in your injury
  • There was an intent to cause you to grave emotional pain
  • You are suffering from severe mental distress due to the incident

How Can You Prove Your Emotional Injuries?

To recover damages for emotional injury in New York, you will have to provide proof of:

  • The experiences you have had to suffer or continue to suffer due to the other party’s negligence
  • The type of emotional injury you have suffered, its severity and frequency, and the effects it has on your normal life
  • Being diagnosed with emotional trauma by a qualified and certified mental health professional
  • The therapy you have taken or continue to take for the emotional distress including any medication prescribed to you

To substantiate your claims of a psychological injury that has affected your life, you need to provide hard evidence that is sufficiently convincing.

Begin by consulting your family doctor regarding your symptoms and take the necessary treatment. If required, get their referral for further treatment such as medication, or therapy or counseling by a licensed mental health professional. Keep records of these consultations, the prescriptions, and receipts received for the consultation fees you have paid.

Next, maintain a journal where you record your feelings and the impact of these on your daily life. Write about how your emotional trauma is affecting your ability to perform in a normal way at home, at work and in other social interactions.

Seek help from your family and friends whenever necessary by sharing your experience with them. Together, these measures can help you heal from your emotional injury and also serve to provide evidence of how your life has been affected by the trauma.

Consult an Experienced Emotional Distress Injury Lawyer in NYC

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury that caused severe emotional distress, you are likely to have your hands full dealing with that pain and suffering. Having to deal with the complex legal system involved in claiming compensation for your emotional injury may seem like something beyond your ability.

However, with the right personal injury lawyers in New York who specialize in getting their clients compensation for emotional distress, it can be possible for you to receive the damages you rightfully deserve.

At Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP, our auto accident attorneys have several years of experience in handling such cases of emotional injuries in NYC. We can review your case, file all the necessary legal documents and build a strong case to help you receive the compensation that is your due.

To know more about how we can work with you, call Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP today at 1-800-660-2264 or contact us online for a free and confidential consultation.


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