Are Therapy Costs Included in My Special Damages?
Posted on Friday, July 1st, 2022 at 7:42 pm
When you have been involved in a serious accident caused by someone else, you are aware of the pain from your injuries and the financial losses you have sustained. But one thing many people do not account for is how an accident can impact their mental health. Treating nightmares, anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder after an accident often requires professional help, and treatment can be expensive. This means that when you are negotiating for an insurance settlement, you need to make sure to account for the cost of therapy.
If you need help from a mental health professional after an accident, the Georgia personal injury attorneys of Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. can help you recover the money you need for treatment. Special damages in a personal injury settlement are compensation for any expense directly related to the accident, and you have the right to seek compensation for any treatment you may need.
We have more than 70 years of combined legal experience, and we know how the trauma from an accident can affect your daily life. Our experienced and driven team of personal injury lawyers can help you pursue compensation for all your injuries and financial losses so you can put this painful chapter of your life behind you.
Special Damages vs. General Damages
When you are negotiating an insurance settlement after an accident, the value of the settlement is based on the extent of your injuries and the financial losses you have sustained. There are two broad categories of compensation in a personal injury settlement, which are:
- Special Damages – Special damages are compensation for the accident-related direct expenses you have incurred. This includes things like the cost of any medical treatment you may need, your lost wages, your reduced future earnings if you have developed a disability, and your damaged personal property.
- General Damages – General damages are compensation for the accident-related losses you have sustained that are more nebulous but still real. A common example of a loss covered by general damages is “pain and suffering”, which can be hard to quantify.
The cost of physical therapy is generally considered part of your medical expenses, and seeing a psychiatric therapist after an accident is a similar expense. Therefore, you can pursue compensation for psychiatric therapy as part of a settlement. While the cost of seeing a therapist would be compensated under special damages, the emotional distress you have experienced due to the accident would be compensated under general damages. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you recover both types of damages in an insurance settlement.
How a Lawyer Can Help You Recover Compensation for Therapy Costs
It is common for accident victims to need years of therapy before their mental health returns to normal, so you should absolutely pursue compensation for the cost of therapy as part of any insurance settlement. The best way to see that your therapy costs are included in a settlement is to work with an experienced personal injury attorney.
Some of the ways the Georgia personal injury lawyers at Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. can help with your case include:
- Helping you document your injuries – The receipts from your therapist can serve as proof of the financial cost of your treatment, but a lawyer can also help you show how the accident has affected your mental health so you can recover compensation for your pain and suffering.
- Dealing with insurance companies and filing a claim – Most personal injury cases end in insurance settlements. It is extremely important to watch what information you give the insurance company so you do not jeopardize your case. A personal injury attorney can help you with the necessary paperwork involved in filing a claim, as well as handle settlement negotiations so you recover as much compensation as possible.
- Taking your case to court if settlement negotiations are unsuccessful – If an insurance company refuses to make a reasonable offer, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit and take your case to court. Civil trials are risky and unpredictable, so if your case goes to court, you need help from an experienced trial lawyer. Your attorney can help develop your legal strategy as well as assist with the technical and procedural aspects of the trial.
Contact a Georgia Personal Injury Attorney
The mental health effects of an accident are just as real as your physical injuries, and our Georgia personal injury lawyers can answer your questions and help you recover compensation for whatever therapy you need.
Call (770) 205-8827 or visit our contact page for your free initial consultation.