Taking any legal action to pursue justice can be extremely time- and energy-consuming. Being involved in a lawsuit can also be psychologically and emotionally taxing. This is especially true for personal injury lawsuits. If your suit goes to court, you will constantly have to revisit moments involving and leading up to your complaint. Your private life will also be up for scrutiny. The opposing party is likely to do everything in their power to discredit your claims and not be held responsible for your injury.
Suffering from a personal injury is already burdensome on its own. The added stress of going through legal processes to seek reparations will surely take a toll on anyone’s mental health. If you filed a personal injury lawsuit and are waiting for its outcome, you might want to consider getting counseling. Read on to know more about how counseling can help you.
What Are Personal Injury Lawsuits?
Before knowing how counseling can help personal injury clients, let us first define what ‘personal injury lawsuit’ refers to. Personal injury cases arise when an individual is harmed, and another party is legally responsible for that injury. Common examples of personal injuries include:
- Automobiles or car accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Injury through a defective product
- Medical malpractice
- Accidents involving wrongful death
When the court finds the opposing party guilty, they will be ordered to pay for your medical bills and expenses. They may even be required to reparation. Usually, the insurance company of the convicted party will pay for any incurred damage.
Personal injury lawsuits can play out one of two ways: a formal lawsuit or an informal settlement. In a formal lawsuit, a private individual will file a complaint against another party. This other party can be another person, a corporation, a business, or a government agency. The case is then taken up to court. Depending on the complications of your case, court deadlines, and other factors, the procedure might take anywhere from six months to a year. You have to be wary of these deadlines and other time constraints because of the statute of limitations. This is the maximum amount of time you can take to resolve your case. Once this expires, the courts are no longer held responsible for your case.
The more practical procedure is an informal settlement, where the case does not go to court. Your lawyer and the lawyer of the other party will talk between themselves regarding your respective demands and the possibilities of settling. This way, the case is directly resolved through a financial settlement between you and the other party.
Why You Should Seek Counseling For Personal Injury Lawsuits
Either possibility of a personal injury lawsuit can be stressful. If you go to court, you have to gather all the relevant papers in time, and you might need to talk about your experiences in court. If you have an informal settlement, you worry about getting fairly compensated for your injuries. There is no shame in seeking professional help when facing intense stress like this. If you are filing for a personal injury lawsuit, chances are you already suffered physical, mental, or emotional damage. You are already more vulnerable to developing mental illnesses because of the trauma you have suffered.
Personal injury clients often have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It is a common side effect of experiencing an accident. Common symptoms of PTSD which personal injury clients may experience include:
- Reliving the traumatic experience or having flashbacks
- Recurring unwanted memories of the event
- Experiencing nightmares of the traumatic event
- Having significant emotional and physical distress whenever reminded of the event
To manage PTSD, counselors will often suggest, if not indirectly try, a range of treatments. Your counselor might recommend Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Cognitive Processing Therapy, or Prolonged Exposure Therapy. These techniques are designed to disrupt your belief that the unfortunate event is likely to happen again anytime soon. Counseling will help with your symptoms, teach you healthy coping mechanisms, and increase your self-esteem.
Even if you do not have PTSD, it is still a good option to talk to your counselor about your personal injury. They can help you process your emotions. Think of counseling as a protection against any more harm that you may sustain while filing a lawsuit and getting the compensation you deserve for your trauma and injuries.
Counselors Can Refer You to Other Types of Therapy
Counseling is helpful to get you through the trauma and the stress of the legal procedure. Meanwhile, your physical health is affected by the injury. Although a counselor cannot provide physical and occupational therapy, they can refer you to professionals who can provide these. The main goal of going to counselors and other experts is to wholly rehabilitate yourself.
A physical therapist will focus on restoring your body’s flexibility and strength during a physical therapy session. Meanwhile, an occupational therapist will focus on restoring or improving your ability to engage in social life. They can help you address the physical aspect of your injuries so you can go back to your normal routine.
Suffering from a personal injury can be a traumatic experience in many different ways. Filing a personal injury lawsuit can be just as, if not more, harrowing. Aside from the initial physical damage caused by the personal injury, you will also have to deal with the stress involved while working through the lawsuit.
Counseling can help you address emotional and psychological distress from these events. If you have PTSD, a counselor can help you manage your symptoms and reintegrate back into society. They can even refer you to different therapy options to improve your condition. Getting additional counseling during or even after filing the lawsuit can help you be in a better mental condition while waiting for the results.
While in the middle of a lawsuit for personal injury, you will need to be in a strong emotional and mental state. If you are experiencing physical and emotional distress caused by personal injury, don’t hesitate to seek professional help.