When a person experiences an auto accident, they may end up developing serious mental health disorders. Those who have experienced this have the legal right to pursue a lawsuit against the person who injured them. However, it can be tricky to win these cases.
Head Injuries Can Trigger Serious Diseases
A recent study found that serious head injuries could actually trigger certain types of mental health disorders. For example, head injuries increased a person's chance of developing schizophrenia by 65 percent, depression by 59 percent, and bipolar personality disorder by 28 percent. Surprisingly, a person could develop symptoms as late as 15 years after the injury.
As a result, people who suffered from a head injury in a car accident may be at an increased risk of developing one of these disorders. Those who show symptoms of any of these problems needs to get them diagnosed by a doctor first as a way of preparing for a lawsuit.
Other Problems That Can Trigger Mental Illness
Even if the plaintiff doesn't develop a new mental health disease right away, the trauma of the accident may still lead to it later. Emotional distress often leads to post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD. When this happens, a person can experience anxiety, anger, fearfulness, mood swings, and other emotional problems. Sometimes, these emotional problems may lead to more serious underlying mental health disorders.
Treating conditions like this requires a careful and concentrated approach. For some people, it may be too expensive to handle on their own. In these cases, a lawsuit is a necessity. It can help that person regain their mental balance and learn how to live a happy life again.
Is The At-Fault Driver Liable?
Here's where things get tricky in this case. If the person pursing the lawsuit can prove that their mental illness was caused by the accident, the at-fault driver may be liable to pay treatment costs. However, the defendant is likely to take the stance that those mental health injuries were already present before the accident. This typically involves using psychiatrists to prove that the person had problems already.
However, the plaintiff can protect their rights by using a counselor to describe their new mental health problems and discussing the ways that the person did not suffer from them before the accident. Actual x-rays of the brain can help here, as they will showcase damage that may have resulted from the accident and which contribute to the issues.
Winning a case of this nature can seem difficult before beginning. This is especially true for those who have developed mental health problems and who need help engaging with their case. Thankfully, a good auto accident attorney can sort through the difficulties for them.