Mental Health Expert

Types of Experts in a Personal Injury Case: Mental Health Experts

Mental HealthJust as a person may experience a broken bone or a herniated disc after an accident, so too may they experience psychological injuries and emotional distress. Mental health injuries can manifest in many different ways. For example, after a car accident, an injured person may suffer frequent flashbacks of the traumatic crash. After being sexually abused, a victim may have difficulty maintaining meaningful relationships and turn to destructive behaviors to cope. Meanwhile, a person who was rendered quadriplegic after a tragic motorcycle crash may experience feelings of hopelessness and outrage. Mental health injuries after an accident can be equally as debilitating as physical injuries, potentially preventing a person from engaging in their normal daily activities and diminishing their quality of life.

In addition to losses resulting from physical injuries, an accident victim may also be able to recover compensation for their mental health injuries. However, it is more difficult to prove mental health injuries compared to physical injuries. To help prove mental health injuries, a person should first seek medical treatment with their doctor. Explaining your symptoms to a treatment provider can help them to identify and refer you to a specialist that is best suited to address your concerns. For mental health conditions, this often includes psychiatrists, psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners and psychologists. In addition to your treatment, to ensure that you are fully compensated for all of your injuries, it is important to retain the help of a highly experienced personal injury attorney who will work with medical providers and mental health professionals to help prove all of your injuries—both physical and mental.

If you, or someone you love, were injured physically and mentally in an accident, you want Buffalo, New York’s aggressive, tenacious and hardworking personal injury attorney, Jed Dietrich, Esq., on your side. Jed Dietrich, Esq. will work with your treating doctors and mental health professionals to prove all of your injuries to attempt to get you the compensation that you deserve. The Dietrich Law Firm P.C. team is dedicated and determined to get you the compensation that you deserve for your personal injury accident. Call us today at 716-839-3939 for the help that you need.

Common Mental Health Injuries Caused by Personal Injury Accidents

Being involved in a personal injury accident can be a traumatic experience for many. Some accident victims experience flashbacks of the accident, while others experience debilitating levels of stress or sadness that prevent them from engaging in activities that were once part of their daily routine.

Common mental health injuries that result from accidents include:

  1. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): PTSD is a mental disorder that can occur in people who have experienced a traumatic event, such as sexual abuse or a car accident. A person suffering from PTSD may experience intense, disturbing thoughts and feelings associated with stimuli related to the traumatic event. For example, a person who was involved in a serious car accident may experience a sense of panic whenever they hear a car’s horn.

    Symptoms of PTSD include:

    1. Suffering from intrusive thoughts;
    2. Experiencing flashbacks of the traumatic event;
    3. Avoiding situations that trigger bad memories;
    4. Hyperarousal and/or hypervigilance; and
    5. Sudden mood changes.
  2. Depression: Depression is a mood disorder that is characterized by persistent feelings of sadness, grief, emptiness, helplessness or hopelessness. Depression can affect a person’s ability to go about daily life and negatively impact their relationships with others. A person may experience depression after an accident if their injuries prevent them from being able to perform their normal daily tasks and participate in social activities.

    Symptoms of depression include:

    1. Feelings of sadness, emptiness or hopelessness;
    2. Loss of interest in normal activities;
    3. Lack of energy to perform normal activities;
    4. Irritability and angry outbursts;
    5. Changes in appetite; and
    6. Thoughts of death or suicide.
  3. Anxiety: Often resulting in feelings of apprehension and worry about what is to come, anxiety is the body’s response to stressors. Most people experience temporary feelings of anxiety or worry in the moments before a job interview or an important meeting. These feelings often pass quickly once the stressor is gone. However, those with an anxiety disorder experience anxiety that is intense, prolonged, debilitating or that interferes with their daily life. For example, after a car accident, a person may feel heightened levels of anxiety when riding in a car or driving.

    Symptoms of an anxiety disorder include:

    1. Increased heart rate and blood pressure;
    2. Rapid breathing;
    3. Difficulty concentrating and scattered thoughts;
    4. Feelings of tension and worried thoughts; and
    5. Restlessness.

It is equally as important to seek help for your mental health and wellbeing as it is to treat for your physical injuries after an accident. If you are feeling any of the symptoms listed above, you should seek treatment with a mental health professional immediately.

By meeting with a mental health professional, you can document your injury and link it to the accident that caused it. Establishing the cause of a mental health condition and documenting the status of your condition by meeting with a licensed psychiatrist, psychologist, counselor, therapist or social worker can help to prove your injuries to an insurance adjuster, lawyer or jury that is valuing your case and enable you to successfully seek compensation.

After an accident, the Dietrich Law Firm P.C. team wants you to focus on healing on the inside and the outside, and we are here to take care of the rest. Jed Dietrich, Esq. and his team of Buffalo, New York personal injury attorneys are compassionate and ready to support and guide you through the troubling time after an accident. Contact our team 24 hours per day and 7 days per week at 716-839-3939.

Who can Testify and Qualify as a Mental Health Expert?

Mental Health ExpertThere are many types of mental health professionals that have the expertise in mental health conditions to be able to testify in court as a mental health expert. The most common professionals to testify in court are psychiatrists, mental health nurse practitioners and psychologists.

Psychiatrists are licensed medical doctors who specialize in mental health conditions. They have the ability to diagnose mental health conditions, monitor and prescribe medication and provide a patient with therapy. These doctors hold a degree as a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) or a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) and complete four years of a psychiatry residency. After residency, most psychiatrists take an examination to become a board-certified psychiatrist. The tremendous amount of specialized training, experience and knowledge of a psychiatrist can prove useful in proving your mental health condition and the impact it has had on your life.

Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioners (PMHNPs) can assess, diagnose and provide therapy for patients suffering from mental health conditions. In New York, nurse practitioners are able to prescribe medication with some restrictions. Individuals in this area of practice must have an active Registered Nurse (RN) license and have a graduate degree in nursing. In addition, PMHNPs are certified in the PMHNP discipline and must meet continuing education requirements. PMHNPs have hands-on training helping patients with psychiatric disorders, including mood disorders and anxiety, and can be valuable in proving your mental health condition, its cause and how it impacts your day-to-day life.

Clinical psychologists assess, diagnose and treat mental health disorders. A clinical psychologist must at least have a master’s degree. To work in private practice, psychologists are often required to hold a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) or a Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) degree. These experienced professionals are qualified to evaluate a person’s medical health through psychological evaluations, clinical interviews and testing. After an assessment, a clinical psychologist can diagnose and provide therapy to patients. The experience and education of a clinical psychologist can help establish the particulars of your mental health condition and the influence that it has on your ability to live your life.

Often, mental health injuries and emotional distress can be difficult to prove in court. That is, it is more difficult to prove anxiety than it is to point to a broken bone on an X-ray. Nonetheless, treating with a trained mental health professional coupled with retaining the help of a highly experienced Buffalo, New York injury attorney like Jed Dietrich, Esq. will put you in the best position possible to prove a claim for your emotional distress and secure the compensation that you deserve.

If you were seriously injured in an accident, both physically and mentally, you want the best personal injury attorney on your side to preserve your rights and pursue adequate compensation for your injuries. Jed Dietrich, Esq. and his experienced and elite team of personal injury attorneys in Buffalo, New York are ready to aggressively and tenaciously fight for your best result. Call the Dietrich Law Firm P.C., recognized as a Best Law Firm of America, immediately for your free consultation at 716-839-3939. We are available 24 hours per day and 7 days per week, and there is never a fee unless we win for you!

Call the Dietrich Law Firm P.C. immediately at 716-839-3939 so that our aggressive, tenacious and hardworking personal injury lawyers can fight to obtain the best result for your personal injury claim in Buffalo, New York. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and there is never a fee until we WIN for you!

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