Slip and fall accidents can severely affect individuals, causing not only physical injuries but also psychological trauma. While physical problems may be immediately apparent, the psychological toll of such accidents is often overlooked. Contact an experienced Philadelphia premises liability attorney to understand your legal rights and options for seeking compensation for psychological injuries after a slip and fall.
Types of Psychological Injuries Caused by Slip and Falls
When you suffer a slip and fall accident, it’s not uncommon to experience the following types of psychological injuries:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Slip and fall accidents can trigger PTSD in victims. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares, intrusive thoughts, and heightened anxiety related to the incident. Individuals with PTSD may also experience avoidance behaviors, such as steering clear of the location where the accident occurred or being overly cautious in similar environments.
- Depression. Following a slip and fall accident, people might have feelings of sadness and hopelessness and feel the need to isolate themselves from friends and family. They may struggle with low self-esteem, appetite or sleep patterns changes, and difficulties concentrating or making decisions.
- Anxiety disorders. Slip and fall accidents can also contribute to developing anxiety disorders, such as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, or specific phobias. Some people experience excessive worry, restlessness, irritability, and physical symptoms like shortness of breath or a rapid heartbeat.
- Fear of falling. After experiencing a slip and fall accident, some individuals might develop a fear of falling again, even in non-hazardous situations. This fear can be particularly debilitating, leading to avoidance of activities, places, or situations that may trigger anxiety about falling.
Psychological Injuries and Physical Injuries
It’s essential to recognize that physical pain and limitations can exacerbate psychological distress, and psychological trauma hinders the recovery process. This interplay highlights the need for comprehensive medical care that addresses both physical and psychological well-being.
Steps to Take After a Philadelphia Slip and Fall Accident
If you were injured in a slip and fall accident and struggle with psychological trauma, don’t hesitate to seek immediate medical attention. A health care professional can evaluate your condition, provide appropriate treatment, and refer you to mental health specialists if necessary. Remember, psychological injuries may not be immediately apparent, but you deserve to prioritize your mental health as well as your physical health.
You’ll also want to do the following after a slip and fall:
- Report the accident. Be sure to report the fall to the owner or person in charge of the facility where it occurred. If you can remain at the location, take photos of the accident scene, what caused it, and contact information for any eyewitnesses to the fall.
- Know what may hurt your claim. Avoid costly mistakes after a slip and fall, such as talking to the insurance company and giving a recorded statement. Insurance adjusters may pressure you to settle for less than your claim is worth. Also, avoid posting details about the accident on social media since this could be used against your claim.
- Contact a slip and fall lawyer. Consulting with an experienced slip and fall attorney immediately following the accident can help protect your legal rights and provide options for seeking compensation.
Compensation for Psychological Slip and Fall Injuries
If you suffered a psychological injury in a slip and fall accident, you could recover the following economic and non-economic damages:
- Medical expenses. Compensation may cover the costs of medical treatments, therapy sessions, and prescribed medications for psychological injuries resulting from a slip and fall accident.
- Lost wages. If psychological injuries prevent you from working or cause a loss of income, you might be entitled to compensation for lost wages. This includes both past and future earnings affected by the accident.
- Pain and suffering. Psychological injuries can cause immense pain and suffering. Compensation for pain and suffering aims to cover emotional distress, mental anguish, and reduced quality of life experienced as a result of the accident.
- Loss of enjoyment of life. Psychological injuries can diminish one's ability to enjoy life's activities, hobbies, and relationships. Compensation may be awarded to account for the loss of enjoyment caused by the slip and fall accident.