A car accident causes shock for most people and more serious symptoms and injuries for others. You may be entitled compensation for your psychological/psychiatric injuries that may emerge as a result of the shock, extreme anxiety or stress you suffered due to a car accident, regardless whether it was a car, bike, truck, motorcycle or pedestrian accident. Also, you may be entitled to compensation for the pain and suffering you suffered depending on the extent of your psychological injuries.
Statutory benefits for psychological injuries
In New South Wales
If you were injured in a motor vehicle accident in NSW, you may be entitled to statutory benefits regardless of the degree of your fault and the extent of your psychological injuries. For NSW, the benefits can include income support payments and cover for medical related expenses. Income support benefits cease after 6 months has passed from the date of the accident unless your psychological injury is not considered a minor injury and the accident was not mostly your fault. In that scenario, the benefits continue, and you may also be entitled to compensation for past and future loss of income and opportunity and compensation for pain and suffering by way of a lump sum payment.
In NSW, mental health conditions that are not recognised as psychiatric illnesses are considered minor injuries within the CTP scheme. There are two psychiatric illnesses that are defined as minor injuries within this scheme: adjustment disorder and acute stress disorder. These illnesses fall within the scope of a minor psychological injury. Examples of psychological injuries that are non-minor injuries are the diagnosis of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
In Western Australia
If you were injured in a motor vehicle accident in WA the accident has to not be your fault to be entitled to compensation. You could be entitled to compensation for injuries that occur in a car accident in WA regardless of the diagnosis if you were not wholly at fault.
If you have suffered a non-minor psychological injury, our car accident lawyers in NSW and WA will be able to ensure any loss of income and opportunity as a result of the accident is claimed prior to you settling your CTP lump sum payout. If your psychological/psychiatric injury is assessed as more than 10% permanent impairment, our car accident lawyers will also make a claim for pain and suffering. That means that the pain and suffering you endured as a result of the accident can be claimed and form part of your CTP lump sum payout.
Emotional distress after a car accident
Emotional responses to a car accident can involve immediate, acute and chronic responses and may range from fear, distress, nightmares and mood swings to regression, night fears, and decrease in academic success. Our car accident lawyers will be able to advise you on whether you are entitled and the degree of their entitlement in claiming compensation.
Can I claim compensation if I have suffered a psychological injury in a car accident claim?
Yes. If the accident occurred in NSW then you are entitled to income support payments and medical expenses for 6 months if you were wholly at fault and/or sustained a minor psychological injury. If you did not sustain a minor injury and was not wholly at fault you are also able to make a common law for modified damages, being compensation to take into account your future loss of income and pain and suffering. If the accident in WA then you are entitled to compensation if you were not wholly at fault regardless of the diagnosis however the amount of compensation depends on the extent of your injuries and circumstances at the time of the accident. Speak to our car accident lawyers today and we will provide you with easy to understand information and guide you so you can make the best decision on whether you are entitled to compensation and what you entitlements are.
How are psychological injuries assessed in car accident claims?
Your past medical history will be taken into account in addition to the medical evidence that we can obtain for your claim. You would also be assessed by a psychiatrist who will take into account behavioural consequences of your psychological injury using a psychiatric impairment rating scale. The psychiatrist will ask you questions about your self-care and personal hygiene, social and recreational activities, travel, social functioning (relationships), concentration, persistence and pace and adaption.
Are psychological injuries or psychological illnesses treated the same for entitlements to compensation as physical injuries?
Although the injuries are different, the entitlements to compensation remain the same depending on the extent of the injury.
Is the compensation claims process overwhelming?
Claiming compensation involves liaising with our car accident lawyers, the insurer and your treating doctors. It also involves answering questions and being honest, transparent and upfront with regards to your past medical history, if any, your injuries and the extent of your injuries and extent of your loss. However, we work hard to relieve you from the process and paperwork involved in bringing a compensation claim. We also take pride in simplifying the process for you so you can understand what we are doing, why we are doing it and what the end process may look like.
No win no fee car accident lawyers
Our lawyers offer free claims assessments either by phone or in person and will provide you with options, clarity and information so you know where you stand. Our car accident lawyers can also act on your behalf from the start of the process until the end of your claim. Our car accident lawyers also work on a no win no fee basis meaning you will not pay for our costs until you receive compensation. For further information you can fill in the form below or call us on 1800 952 898.