Can I Claim Compensation for Mental Health After a Car Accident in Iowa?

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Posted by Emily Anderson

Car accidents cause more than just physical injuries—they can also cause mental injuries like depression, anxiety, and in some instances Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (also known as PTSD). 

Mental Health Conditions after an Iowa Car Crash

Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for people in car crashes to suffer chronic pain from their injuries.  According to the Mayo Clinic, chronic pain can cause several problems that can lead to depression, such as trouble sleeping and stress.  Pain that limits function can lead to job loss, financial issues, and an inability to engage in hobbies, all of which can lead to low self-esteem.  

The trauma of an accident may result in anxiety or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD has a very defined set of diagnostic criteria that must be met.  A qualified counselor, doctor, psychologist, or psychiatrist can diagnose mental health conditions.

Damages You Could Receive After a Car Accident in Iowa

If you have been in an Iowa car accident that causes a physical injury which leads to a mental health condition, or trauma of the accident itself causes a mental injury, you can recover money damages to compensate you for the mental health portion of your claim

If an accident-related mental health injury results in temporary or permanent job loss, you can seek compensation for lost wages.  If you need medical care to treat your mental health injury, you can recover for past and future medical bills.  Finally, if you suffer mental anguish, you can recover compensation for your suffering and loss of function. 

To receive compensation from your Iowa car accident claim for a mental health condition, you’re likely going to need to seek medical care for the condition.  A qualified medical professional will need to offer an opinion that your mental health condition was, more likely than not, caused by the car crash.  An experienced Iowa personal injury attorney can talk to your medical professionals and obtain the necessary opinions to prove your claim. 

How to Seek Help for Your Mental Health Claim

It can be very difficult to recognize and even admit that you’re having mental health concerns resulting from a car crash.  It is extremely normal for men and women alike to suffer some mental health symptoms, even temporarily, after a physical injury.  You’re doing yourself and your loved ones a favor if you admit that you need help and seek it. 

If you don’t already have a mental health provider, such as a counselor, psychologist, or psychiatrist, often the first step in getting treatment is to see your primary care provider.

Most doctors and nurse practitioners are trained in the basic diagnosis and management of mental health disorders.  Doctors may prescribe anti-depressant or anti-anxiety medications, or they may recommend you seek counseling.  If your depression is pain-related, your doctor may refer you to a pain management specialist or a pain rehabilitation program. 

If you don’t know where to start, you can always ask your attorney.  We aren’t medical providers, but we have had many, many clients who have suffered from mental health injuries after a car crash. We can offer you some tips to point you in the right direction.

If you feel like you are a danger to yourself or others, you should not wait for an appointment, you should visit your local emergency room or call the National Suicide Hotline.  It recently changed its number to 988.

There are also various local agencies depending on where you live.  Here in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, a good resource is Foundation 2 Crisis Services.  You can visit their website or you can call them if you are in crisis at 319-362-2174. 

You are not alone. If you need help with a mental health claim after a serious car accident, contact RSH Legal today at 1-800-433-0283.

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