Personal Injury Psychiatry

man talking with injured older male

Personal Injury

Personal injury psychiatry helps individuals cope with physical trauma and its lingering effects on their quality of life. In cases where a third party caused the injury, the scope widens to include legal ramifications. In these situations, it is essential to determine whether these adverse effects were actually created by the incident in question.

Defining Personal Injury

Personal injury psychiatry addresses the physical and psychological effects following trauma, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), chronic pain, and traumatic brain injury. While the courts can address retribution, cases involving personal injury often have long-term consequences. These psychological conditions can inflict mental effects that deserve consideration.

The subjectivity of certain conditions makes assessing a personal injury very challenging. For example, what may constitute mild pain for one individual may be debilitating for another. Quantifying the impact of these conditions requires a professional assessment to ensure that justice is provided for all involved parties.

Another challenge exists in cases where individuals have a pre-existing psychological condition. The existence of such a disorder should not negate a person’s right to collect damages if the personal injury has exacerbated the condition. Professional intervention can assess the interplay between existing mental health and injury.

Costs of Psychological Distress

The results of physical trauma can take many forms. PTSD describes the emotional consequences of experiencing a traumatic event regardless of whether or not an injury occurred. Individuals with PTSD may have flashbacks, nightmares, and pervasive negative thoughts about the incident that affect their day-to-day functioning. But these claims hold very little weight until they are backed by a professional opinion.

The physical impacts of conditions are usually easy to assess through medical tests and evaluations. The psychological costs, on the other hand, are harder to quantify. Personal injury psychiatry introduces a standard means of assessing these psychological impacts in an objective way.

Chronic Pain

Chronic pain represents a nebulous area in personal injury assessment. Pain, after all, is a subjective condition. Consequently, it is both a vulnerability to the individual and a target for skepticism in the courtroom. Fortunately, personal injury psychiatry can reveal the truth of these matters and allow the courts to come to a just decision.

Dr. Miller and her staff at Family Psychiatry and Therapy can provide the necessary evidence to assist the court in understanding these conditions. With these assurances, the system can respond appropriately to claims of personal injury that would not have been possible without this intervention. It can also address the long-term effects of these injuries to further help the court assess damages accurately and justly.

Secondary Effects

Psychological distress can have secondary impacts that have both personal and financial costs. An individual may have lingering effects that pose both a physical and mental challenge to returning to work. The effects then escalate, resulting in further financial costs. A psychiatrist who specializes in personal injury can dissect these situations for an accurate assessment.

Psychological distress can affect an individual’s ability to function both at home and in the workplace. It can cause or worsen existing mental health conditions (such as depression and anxiety) too. It also has economic costs. Depression, for example, costs employers about 51 billion dollars in lost productivity each year.

Another concern exists with the nature of future physical and mental health impacts. The symptoms of traumatic brain injury may not occur immediately after the trauma. An individual who settles a case quickly without professional guidance may lose out on their rightful compensation. A psychiatrist who works with these cases can ensure proper retribution.


A complication of personal injury claims involving emotional distress can occur because of malingering. The term describes deceptive practices of feigning emotional or physical injury for personal gain. It’s unfortunate that these situations exist because it creates an obstacle for people with real mental trauma following a personal injury to receive proper retribution.

The courts are naturally skeptical of personal injury claims involving psychological distress. That is one reason why personal injury psychiatry is essential for individuals experiencing psychological ramifications following trauma or physical harm. It is one of the overwhelming benefits of seeking professional help.

Benefits of Personal Injury Psychiatry

The advantages of seeking personal injury psychiatry exist from both a personal and legal perspective. In many ways, they overlap. The verification of psychological trauma from a legal sense can empower an individual struggling to return to a sense of normalcy after a personal injury. That fact alone makes personal injury psychiatry a worthwhile pursuit.

Personal Benefits

The greatest benefits of personal injury psychiatry are for the individual. It can help a person overcome the fears and anxiety of returning to a normal lifestyle. If a person was involved in a car accident, he could gain the confidence to drive again. If an individual was the victim of a violent crime, she could learn to feel comfortable interacting with society again.

Legal Benefits

From a legal perspective, personal injury psychiatry offers verification and legitimacy to these claims. An assessment by a trained professional can provide the definitive evidence needed to validate claims and relieve concerns about malingering and fraud. This professional handling can mitigate additional threats to the well-being of the individual.

Striking a Balance

Family Psychiatry and Therapy can act as an advocate for the individual and the court. It can handle the delicate task of providing help and comfort to the victim while meeting the court’s need for verification. A psychiatrist can assure that the court’s charge to do its job is fulfilled while avoiding further distress to a person suffering from emotional distress.

Dr. Miller and her staff aims to provide relief on two fronts. For the individual, it can help a victim work through the process of grieving and healing. From a legal perspective, it can assure the court of the validity of a plaintiff’s claims while ensuring that their rights are protected. It acts as a moderator to make sure that justice and fairness are served.

Call or message us today to learn more about our personal injury psychiatry services.