Leesburg, FL injury and accident lawyer discusses a recent medical journal article explaining why some folks develop anxiety and depression after a traumatic injury.
Years ago, many lawyers came up through an apprenticeship program. There is nothing like experience in the practice of law. One of the things that lawyers do on a daily basis is take a client’s fact scenario, and attempt to apply the fact scenario to the existing law and other similar fact scenarios that they have encountered over the years. Once we’ve completed this process, we make a calculated prediction on the best course to take or a projected outcome.
I practice medical malpractice and personal injury law. This area of law is based on the individual person, and because no two people are alike, outcomes vary widely. Let me give you an illustration for perspective.
I have two clients that are very similar in all respects, age, vocation, previous medical history. They are both injured in a car accident and have pretty similar medical findings. One client responds to treatment, settles their case and goes on with the rest of their life.
The other client’s life shows a steady decline. The client can’t sleep, has flashbacks of the crash, cries all the time, and is afraid to drive. Before the accident, we had a vibrant person – now the client is miserable. As lawyers we have this past experience that this doesn’t usually happen. We start to jump to conclusions – we question whether the crash could have caused the change in the client’s life.
Worse yet, there is an insurance company on the other side, who settled 1000s of case with folks who did not have an experience like this client. These insurance adjusters are even more jaded and biased. Out of their mouths we hear the client is lying, malingering, or he/she is in it for the money, etc. etc. But is that true?
A study by psychologists at the University of Liverpool has found that traumatic life events are the biggest cause of anxiety and depression, but how a person thinks about these events determines the level of stress they experience. One of the researchers said:
Whilst we know that a person’s genetics and life circumstances contribute to mental health problems, the results showed that traumatic life events are the main reason people suffer from anxiety and depression. However, the way a person thinks about, and deals with, stressful events is as much an indicator of the level of stress and anxiety they feel.
The takeaway from this is that we are all individuals with unique genetics and backgrounds. A traumatic event, such as a car accident, could certainly trigger changes that lead to anxiety and/or depression. Lawyers and insurance adjusters should not be so quick to jump to our biases that the small percentage of folks that experience these problems are “making them up”.
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