A person who is injured in a motor vehicle accident may suffer physical injury and subsequently develop psychiatric impairment as a result of the effect on their life of their physical injury.
In other instances a person may develop nervous shock or post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the trauma suffered during or as a result of a motor vehicle accident, without having suffered permanent physical injury.
Then again, close family members of a person killed in a motor vehicle accident may develop nervous shock as a result of the trauma of the death of their family member.
Psychiatric impairment can be difficult to assess. An assessor who is an accredited Specialist Psychiatrist will review all treating reports, take a history from the injured person as to their past functioning, whether they have ever suffered from a prior psychiatric illness and in relation to the effects on the person of the accident. The Psychiatrist will also take a history of symptoms and of treatment. The Psychiatrist will ask about the person’s current symptoms and will then carry out a clinical examination.
The Psychiatrist will provide a diagnosis, comment on the permanency of impairment, and then determine the degree of permanent impairment, if any, using the Psychiatric Impact Ratings Scales.