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PTSD Not all wounds are visible

A recent study of mental injuries suffered by children after bike and car accidents has concluded that approximately 30% of children who are injured in traffic [accidents] suffer from posttraumatic stress disorder one month after the accident.”  Additionally, that same study concluded that “one year after the accident 22% of the children were still suffering from mental and psychosocial problems connected with it.”  

The medical study authors believe their research suggests that  oftentimes and especially in children, the mental and psychological injuries suffered as the result of a car crash or bike accident or more severe than the physical injuries.  As personal injury attorney I believe that is oftentimes true.  Many of my clients, especially victims of bike accidents, suffer head injuries that are not always visible, additionally, the trauma of being hit by a car, especially as a pedestrian or a cyclist, causes many injury victims to suffer anxiety and fear for a long time, worried that they could be hit and injured again.  The study author stated: “My results suggest that the experience of having an accident has a greater effect that the actual physical injuries. To be injured as an unprotected pedestrian in an accident with a vehicle can be experienced are more stressful, more frightening and more threatening than, for example, a cycling accident with no-one else involved.

Head, brain, and psychological injures are often closely related.  THey can be very harmful to the victim not only because o the symptoms the head injury causes, but because it is not visible to others. Usually, head injury victims appear totally normal from the outside; so when their symptoms of head injury show (memory, concentration, focus, fear, anxiety) many people wonder why they are acting the way they are, leading the victim to be even more self conscious and causing more anxiety. For example, if you see someone with a cast on their leg, it makes sense why they are limping.  If you see someone with injuries to their head or face such as bruises, swelling or abrasions, if they seem out of it, it makes sense.  But many people suffering brain injuries “Seem normal” on the outside.

This is a challenging issue for personal injury lawyers representing clients with head injuries form car accidents or bike accidents. Juries like to see visible injuries, as soon as an injury is invisible, like may head injuries, the victim’s lawyer must be prepared to prove the injury and symptoms to the jury. Prove it through a history of complaints of head injury symptoms to different doctors, treatment administered, psychological tests, and friends and family testifying about the differences they see in their friend or loved one after the head injury.

Mental injury such as PTSD is very harmful to its victims and injury lawyers must know how to prove the extent of this injury to juries in order to maximize their client’s verdict to make up for the harms and losses they are suffering.  At Sansone, Sumner & Lauber we focus on proving to a jury all of our clients injuries, see and unseen, to maximize settlement amounts and verdicts. Call us for free (314) 863-0500

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