Topic: Personal Injury
While the majority of Virginia personal injury litigation pertains to physical—and often debilitating—injuries caused because of the negligence of other parties, many claims have non-physical injury components as well. And personal injury attorneys can successfully litigate for clients who sustained non-physical injuries exclusively. Psychological injury is the most common non-physical injury recognized under the law, and its effects can be debilitating to vctims.
Psychological injury is a significant component of severe physical injury
There are strong psychological and emotional components to severe injury, particularly when disability occurs. This makes sense—any sudden life change is likely to have a profound effect on both injured individuals and their families.
One of the most common effects of involvement in a severe accident is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which causes many problems, such as the following:
- Flashbacks to the accident
- Sleeping disorders or nightmares
- Feelings of separation from others
- Outbursts of anger
These and other symptoms of psychological or emotional distress can surface immediately after an accident, but they can emerge months—or even years—after the accident. This can potentially create financial complications for victims who failed to pursue compensation for future psychological treatment when litigating their cases.
The stress of a traumatic situation can have a very real psychological effect on individuals
It is important to understand that you do not need to sustain physical injury to be affected by severe emotional or psychological trauma such as PTSD if you have been involved in a serious accident. Consider the following examples:
- In a collision between a car and a semi truck, a back seat passenger sustains no physical injuries, but witnesses the death of a fellow passenger. The passenger is left with a severe fear of auto vehicle travel, to the extent that he is unable to go to work or conduct necessary day-to-day activities. Without potentially long-term and expensive psychological treatment, he may never be able to live a normal life again.
- A construction worker miraculously escapes injury when a scaffold falls and lands mere inches from where he stands. Upon returning to work, he is unable to perform the requirements of his job due to extreme nervousness and fear. Even if other employment is possible, this worker may never again earn construction wages. Reduced standard of living causes additional problems in relationships with his family members.
- A recreational walk in the park turns into a nightmare when an off-leash dog suddenly charges a mother and child, snarling and clearly ready to bite. A passer-by helps the mother avoid the physical attack, but the incident changes the family dynamic forever because she immediately finds a new home for the family dog and keeps her children at home—where it is safe.
Injuries like these are often more difficult to prove because they cannot be seen, yet they can dramatically affect the life of victims. Anyone who suffers emotional or psychological injury as the result of the negligence of others has a right to pursue compensation for the full extent of their losses. But these legal cases require an exceptionally skilled personal injury attorney in Harrisonburg or Staunton to develop an effective legal case that is valid under Virginia law.
Contact our experienced Lexington, Harrisonburg, and Staunton personal injury attorneys
Our Harrisonburg personal injury lawyers have extensive experience to provide the full support needed by injury victims. Established in 1845, the law firm of Wharton, Aldhizer & Weaver, PLC has a strong history supporting a wide variety of legal issues for individuals and businesses. To discuss your legal concerns, contact us today.
While the majority of Virginia personal injury litigation pertains to physical—and often debilitating—injuries caused because of the negligence of other parties, many claims have non-physical injury components as well.