To most people an injury is something you can see. But what about those that you can’t see?
A psychological injury or “nervous shock” can be just as debilitating as a physical injury. But how do you know if you have suffered such an injury?
Nervous shock is the legal term for any psychological injury suffered that is caused or contributed to by a particular incident. Depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety type disorders and traffic phobia are just some examples of injuries of this kind. An exacerbation of a pre-existing condition (such as depression) that was well managed prior to the incident can also be classified as a psychological injury.
Examples of incidents that may cause you to suffer psychological injury include the death of a loved one, motor vehicle accidents, a significant fall or even medical malpractice. Even if you were not directly involved in the incident you may still have suffered psychological injury.
In situations where you can show sufficient proximity to an incident that caused you to suffer a psychological injury you may still be able to make a claim. An example of such an incident may be if a close friend of family member lost their life in a car accident at which you were not present.
It is a common misconception that if you bring a personal injury claim you will be suing a person who most likely cannot afford to pay. In fact, any payout will come from the insurer, not the individual.
If you have home and contents insurance and your house burns down, you’d mostly likely make a claim. If you are in a car accident and your car is damaged by someone else, you’d make a claim against their insurance.
It is worth remembering that insurance for personal injury is like any other. It is there to ensure that people who suffer damage are properly compensated. That is the reason this insurance (or any other type of insurance) exists in the first place.
So if you have suffered an injury (including a psychological injury) which you believe was caused by the fault of someone else you should seek legal advice to make sure that you’re informed of your options.
Remember, strict time limits may apply to making a claim so it is important that you receive proper legal advice as soon as possible.
If you require more specific information on the law of negligence or indeed your own personal circumstances, please contact us. One of our specialist lawyers will call you within one business day to clarify your questions and set your mind at ease.
By Mitch Herlihy.