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The link between acute orthopedic injuries and mental health

If you’ve suffered broken bones or torn ligaments in a car crash or other type of accident, you expect to be in pain, require medical treatment (perhaps even surgery) and have limited mobility for a period of time. You may even be looking at long-term or permanent effects.

Researchers have found that even when people do not suffer acute orthopedic injuries, like those just mentioned, can also suffer post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, panic disorders and other mental health issues as a result sudden, traumatic events such as accidents. Too often, however, these aren’t properly diagnosed because the patient, their family and their doctors are more focused on whether there are and the extent of the physical injuries.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), these psychological injuries can also be long-term ones – especially if they aren’t dealt with as soon as possible. A delay in treating psychological impact of accidents can not only delay a person’s physical recovery but can extend the period of these impacts.

Why can significant injury cause psychological issues?

These mental health issues can arise after an acute physical injury for a number of reasons that could involve the nature and significance of the injury but more likely arising out of the circumstances of the injury, such as a violent car crash or other event attack that was traumatic and unexpected. If a person thought they or others in their care were going to die, even for a few seconds, that trauma can have a long-term impact. They can also occur because a person is facing a future – even a temporary one — with seriously limited mobility.

If you’re seeking compensation from an at-fault driver or other party who caused serious injuries, you have a right to include the cost of mental health care along with compensation for the impact it has had on you in the damages you’re claiming. That’s just one reason why you should never agree to a settlement before you know the full extent of your physical and psychological injuries. By having legal guidance, you can better ensure that you get the compensation you deserve.