Psychological injury is much a part of a compensation claim, and is often even more a part of the claim, as physical trauma is.
If you have suffered a physical injury of any kind there may also be a psychological impact on you as a result of that physical trauma, which is nothing to be ashamed of.
These types of injuries have to be supported by reliable psychology or psychiatry evidence to be part of the compensation claim. Any suggestion of such an expert being required in your case is not suggesting that you are mad, but that these are experts and will be the best people to help to resolve psychological consequences of accidents and physical trauma.
The main psychological disorders we see typically following physical trauma are:
- Adjustment disorder.
- Major depressive disorders.
- Persistent depressive disorder.
- Specific phobia disorder.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder.
- Acute distress disorder.
- Chronic pain disorder.
- Functional Overlay
To establish whether you are suffering any of these conditions as a result of the accident needs careful analysis by either the consultant clinical psychologist or psychiatrist. They will need to consider the following information, as well as carrying out further tests and an interview.
- Your medical records
- Are there any symptoms relating to pre existing conditions, have these symptoms been made worse by the accident or made you more vulnerable to the accident related injuries
- How long have the symptoms lasted for
- What treatment has been received
- What is the likely extent of the injury and duration
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
A common condition most of us have heard of is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. However, following a normal accident Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is not usually an accurate diagnosis but it is used as a more generic term for anyone who has suffered any type of psychological reaction to the trauma. This is often diagnosed by GP’s but, without wishing to be critical of GP’s, it should be a psychologist or psychiatrist who makes the diagnosis following the careful consideration referred to above. In many cases the disorder the Claimant is suffering from is an adjustment disorder.
What is functional overlay?
The further problem we have to deal with sometimes is called functional overlay, or excessive reaction to symptoms. The term is often used by medical experts when describing Claimants where there is a discrepancy between the claimed symptoms and the expert’s examination. This does not mean that the symptoms are being deliberately exaggerated, as they are often real to the sufferer.
A deliberate exaggeration or malingering is something quite different and is easier for the medical experts to spot and this then sheds doubt on the rest of the claim.
Advice about psychological injury and making a claim
Our specialist personal injury lawyers will be able to advise you on what the best course of action will be for your type of case. Your first meeting with us, whether at home, the hospital or at our offices, will always be completely free. To speak to someone during office hours, use the telephone numbers below.