No one wants to face a personal injury lawsuit: the legal system can be difficult to navigate, especially when undergoing medical treatment. You’re tired, sore, uncomfortable, and stressed with mounting medical bills, which makes it even harder to focus on the material aspects of a lawsuit. This is why it’s so important to hire a good personal injury attorney – and know about the lesser-known impacts that a lawsuit can have on your physical and mental health.
One 2014 study from Australia showed that many people dealing with personal injury lawsuits suffered from significant stress, which took its toll on their physical and mental health. Similar findings have been observed in the United States.
When we face a serious injury, we always assume that the healing process will be straightforward: you’ll go to the emergency room or doctor, receive a treatment plan, and execute it as you work with a personal injury lawyer to manage your case. However, this is often not the case, especially if your injuries require a lengthy hospital stay or multiple surgeries. One of the biggest culprits of this is Hospital Acquired Infections, which affect over 19% of those admitted to the Intensive Care Unit. These can be even nastier than a normal infection, especially because your immune system is already stressed from the accident and legal process.
Hospital Acquired Infections might be antibiotic resistant because the bacteria that survive and thrive in a hospital are repeatedly exposed to antibiotics and have developed an immunity. This means they’ll require stronger doses of drugs and a longer treatment regimen, simply complicating an already difficult situation.
If you face a Hospital Acquired Infection, be sure to inform your personal injury attorney right away: treatment for this infection can be included in your settlement as it is a result of the accident, given that you wouldn’t be in the hospital otherwise.
Mental health is an underappreciated aspect of well-being in modern society, but especially so when it comes to injuries and illnesses. We often underestimate the ways that we’re impacted by life circumstances or believe that struggling with mental health is only for those with a documented mental illness. However, mental health is important for everyone, and it can have a major effect on your healing process.
You will need to make mental health a priority after suffering from an injury. Stress management is especially important for people dealing with personal injury lawsuits.
The most obvious component is that you might suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after a traumatic accident. You might find yourself feeling anxious or disconnected from everyday life, suffering from nightmares and insomnia, and vividly remembering the accident in flashbacks. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder can severely impact your quality of life, especially when you’re already trying to recuperate from an accident, and you should seek mental health treatment right away to help diminish its effects on your well-being.
Another factor that you might not consider is a feeling of grief or loss. This might be more expected if you lost a loved one, but it can occur even if you were the only person injured. Such a feeling might be even more mystifying and frustrating, as you might not understand why you feel this way and believe it’s inappropriate or shameful. However, realize that you’re grieving for the sense of security that was unfortunately taken from you because of the actions of another person. You could also be mourning any loss of physical ability that was taken – temporarily or permanently – because of the accident, as well as the way that it’s changed your relationship with others and yourself.
If you’re suffering from any of these issues, please reach out for professional help, such as a licensed clinical therapist or psychiatrist. You should also discuss this with your compassionate personal injury lawyer, who can not only help you find treatment, but also factor this into your lawsuit as emotional damages. Being able to document any diagnoses and treatments you’ve undergone will help prove the serious effect this accident has had on your mental health, and seeking help will speed your recovery process. After all, a positive mindset can do wonders for your healing, including your physical injuries.
Often, when we think of personal injuries and accidents, we consider only how it impacts the person harmed; however, a victim’s support network also suffers, and this can strain relationships beyond the breaking point.
The process of finding information for a lawsuit can feel invasive, as adjusters and other parties will ask many deeply personal questions to better understand who you are and how this injury has impacted your life. This can include information about previous health issues, the length and satisfaction level of your marriage, and even your sex life. Remember that judges and juries are people too, and they may believe that those in certain types of relationships or lifestyles are more honest or have been more impacted by any injury, even if the accident was the same.
Furthermore, any previous disagreements between you and your loved ones could be agitated by the intrusive questions and the difficulty of caring for you as you recuperate. Lawsuits are stressful, as are medical bills, and this will widen any rifts – or create new ones.
While you should lean on your support system as much as possible, be aware that they may also be struggling with the fallout from this accident, and they may be more reluctant to discuss it because they feel their own problems are less important or less warranted. However, this simply isn’t true: when a loved one is hurt, the whole support system suffers. Encourage your loved ones to seek help themselves, and be sure to show your appreciation for all they’ve done: even a small word of gratitude can mean a lot.
The personal injury lawsuit process isn’t easy, but having foresight and knowledge can make this difficult time a little easier. When you’ve been injured, keep these facts in mind, and reach out to a qualified personal injury lawyer who can assist.