Psychological Injuries in Construction Accident Lawsuits
11.4 million individuals were employed by the construction industry in 2019. Unfortunately, the construction industry is also one of the most dangerous, and it has the second most workplace deaths in the nation. In fact, a total of 951 construction workers died on site in 2021. However, beyond physical injuries that occur, construction accidents can also inflict significant psychological harm on individuals involved. Understanding and addressing these psychological injuries is crucial in the pursuit of justice and compensation. If you or a loved one have been inflicted with physical and psychological injuries while on the job, you may be eligible for legal redress.
- The industry’s inherent dangers lead to physical and psychological injuries, impacting 11.4 million workers.
- Falls, machinery malfunctions, and collapses pose complex challenges, causing both physical and psychological harm.
- GAD, PTSD, and Clinical Depression present challenges affecting daily life after accidents.
- Despite invisibility, proper documentation, expert testimony, and legal representation enable compensation for psychological injuries.
- Construction accident attorneys assist in case assessment, negotiations, and emotional support for timely resolutions. Reach out to Raynes & Lawn at 1-800-535-1797 or online for personalized legal guidance toward recovery and compensation in Pennsylvania.
What is a Construction Accident?
The construction industry is rife with inherent risks that can lead to a spectrum of unforeseen incidents collectively termed as construction accidents. These incidents are not confined to a single type or cause; rather, they span a diverse range, adding layers of complexity to an already high-risk environment.
At the heart of construction accidents lies the potential for falls, a pervasive hazard given the often elevated nature of construction work. Whether from scaffolding, ladders, or other elevated platforms, falls can result in severe injuries, both physical and psychological. Machinery malfunctions, another facet of these accidents, introduce a technological variable that, when mismanaged, can lead to catastrophic consequences.
Structural collapses represent yet another dimension of risk within construction sites. Whether due to design flaws, material failures, or construction errors, the collapse of a structure poses immediate threats not only to physical safety but also to the mental well-being of those who witness or experience such traumatic events. The domino effect of structural failures extends beyond the immediate incident, potentially causing a cascade of psychological distress.
Electrical mishaps further amplify the multifaceted nature of construction accidents. The integration of electrical systems within construction projects introduces a unique set of hazards, including electric shocks, fires, and explosions. These incidents can have profound psychological effects on individuals who may grapple with anxiety and fear related to the potential dangers associated with electricity.
While the physical consequences of construction accidents are often visible and receive immediate attention, the mental and emotional toll on those involved should not be underestimated.
What is a Psychological Injury?
The psychological toll of a construction accident is often underestimated, as societal emphasis tends to lean towards the tangible and observable aspects of injury. Yet, the mind, intricately connected to the body, bears the burden of trauma that may not be immediately evident. The experience of a construction accident can shake the foundations of an individual’s mental well-being, leading to a spectrum of psychological injuries that demand acknowledgment and understanding.
In other words, psychological injuries can manifest in various mental health conditions, each presenting its own set of challenges and complexities.
The Different Psychological Injuries From Construction Accidents
To understand the extent of psychological injuries and trauma that can be inflicted by a construction accident, let’s look at the different types that one may be diagnosed with:
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is a common outcome of construction accidents and is characterized by a constant state of worry that hinders daily cognition. In other words, you are overrun with anxiety. Restlessness, indicative of heightened physiological arousal, is a prominent symptom, reflecting the perpetual apprehension experienced by the affected individual. The resultant fatigue, attributed to the cognitive and emotional strain associated with persistent anxiety, becomes a notable clinical consideration.
Cognitive impairment, particularly difficulty concentrating, is another symptom. Those with GAD may also be irritable, due to the heightened emotional sensitivity caused by constantly being on edge. Additionally, there are somatic symptoms, including muscle tension.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) surfaces as a significant clinical concern following a construction accident, with enduring consequences on an individual’s psychological well-being. The hallmark symptoms include distressing flashbacks, vivid nightmares, and intrusive thoughts, collectively contributing to the re-experiencing of the traumatic event. Sleep disturbances, particularly disruptive nightmares, as occur. Those with PTSD are also diagnosed with hyperarousal, meaning that they have an increased startle response and may be unable to function even in a normal setting.
Also known as major depressive disorder, clinical depression is a concern for those recovering from a construction accident. Clinical depression is characterized by a persistent depressed mood, one that is often described as anhedonic. Changes in appetite (increased or decreased), sleep disturbances (including insomnia and hypersomnia), and the presence of feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt have a terrible impact on one’s functioning and overall well-being. Those impacted by clinical depression may also experience difficulty concentrating, preventing them from functioning normally.
Can You Receive Damages for Psychological Injuries Post-Construction Accident?
Yes, it is possible to receive damages for psychological injuries resulting from a construction accident. In personal injury law, including cases related to construction accidents, damages are typically divided into two main categories: economic damages and non-economic damages.
- Economic Damages: These damages medical expenses and lost wages. Medical expenses are to cover anything from before and after the claim, including the cost of medical treatment, therapy, and expenses related to treating your psychological injuries. The damages for lost wages will help with covering any time lost while receiving medical care.
- Non-Economic Damages: Non-economic damages cover pain and suffering and emotional distress. This includes the physical and emotional pain and suffering caused by the psychological injuries, such as anxiety and mental health challenges. Furthermore, specific damages may be awarded for emotional distress, which can include symptoms such as anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
In construction accident cases, proving psychological injuries can be complex, as they are often not as visibly apparent as physical injuries. However, with proper documentation, expert testimony, and legal representation, it is entirely feasible to seek and obtain compensation for psychological damages.
Considerations When Seeking Damages for Psychological Injuries
Here are some key considerations when pursuing damages for psychological injuries after a construction accident:
- Documentation: Keep thorough records of all medical treatments, therapy sessions, and any prescribed medications related to your psychological injuries. These records will serve as crucial evidence in establishing the extent of your damages.
- Expert Testimony: In some cases, expert testimony from mental health professionals may be necessary to establish a clear link between the construction accident and your psychological injuries. Their expertise can strengthen your case and provide credibility to your claims.
- Legal Representation: Consult with an experienced personal injury attorney, preferably one with knowledge of construction accidents. A skilled attorney can assess the viability of your case, guide you through the legal process, and advocate for your rights to ensure you receive fair compensation for both economic and non-economic damages.
What Can a Construction Accident Attorney Do For Psychological Injuries After a Construction Accident?
A construction accident attorney can play a crucial role in helping individuals who have suffered psychological injuries as a result of a construction accident. Here are ways in which such an attorney can be instrumental in navigating the legal complexities and advocating for the rights of the injured party:
Case Assessment and Legal Advice
An experienced construction accident attorney will assess the details of your case to determine its merits and viability. They can provide legal advice on the potential for seeking compensation for psychological injuries and guide you on the best course of action.
Understanding Legal Rights
A construction accident attorney is well-versed in personal injury law, including the legal rights of individuals who have suffered psychological injuries. They can explain your rights, potential avenues for compensation, and the applicable laws in your jurisdiction.
Documentation and Evidence Gathering
Building a strong case for psychological injuries requires thorough documentation and evidence. An attorney can assist in gathering and preserving crucial evidence, such as medical records, therapy notes, and expert opinions, to substantiate your claim.
Negotiations with Insurance Companies
Construction accident attorneys are skilled negotiators. They can engage with insurance companies on your behalf to secure a fair settlement for the psychological injuries you’ve endured. This includes negotiating for compensation for pain and suffering, emotional distress, and other non-economic damages.
In cases involving psychological injuries, expert testimony from mental health professionals may be essential. An attorney can identify and collaborate with qualified experts who can provide testimony to establish the connection between the construction accident and the psychological harm suffered.
If negotiations do not result in a satisfactory settlement, your attorney can represent you in court. They will file a lawsuit, adhere to legal procedures, and present a compelling case before a judge and jury to seek the appropriate compensation for your psychological injuries.
Workers’ Compensation Claims
In some cases, workers’ compensation may be applicable for psychological injuries arising from a construction accident. An attorney can assist in navigating the workers’ compensation system, ensuring that you receive the benefits you are entitled to under the law.
Emotional Support and Advocacy
Dealing with the aftermath of a construction accident and its psychological impact can be overwhelming. A compassionate construction accident attorney can provide emotional support, understanding, and advocacy to alleviate the burden on the injured party.
Attorneys strive to maximize the damages awarded to their clients. For psychological injuries, this includes pursuing compensation not only for medical expenses and lost wages but also for pain and suffering, emotional distress, and any long-term impact on the individual’s quality of life.
Construction accident attorneys work efficiently to resolve cases in a timely manner. They understand the importance of swift resolutions, especially when dealing with psychological injuries that may require ongoing treatment and support.
Contact the Pennsylvania Construction Accident Attorneys of Raynes & Lawn
The pervasive risks in the construction industry not only lead to physical injuries but also cast a shadow of psychological trauma on those affected. For individuals navigating the complex aftermath of a construction accident, legal recourse offers a pathway to justice and compensation. To ensure that you receive the maximum amount of damages owed, consider hiring a construction accident attorney like those at Raynes & Lawn. As we strive for a collective understanding of the challenges posed by construction accidents, let the pursuit of justice be a shared endeavor—one that acknowledges the visible scars and addresses the unseen wounds of psychological trauma. For tailored legal assistance and compassionate advocacy, contact Raynes & Lawn today to navigate the path toward recovery and rightful compensation.
You can reach us by calling 1-800-535-1797 or by filling out the contact form.
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