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Fort Lauderdale Personal Injury Attorneys > Blog > Personal Injury > Mental Anguish and Emotional Distress

Mental Anguish and Emotional Distress


Sustaining an injury as a result of someone else’s negligence can have far-reaching consequences for victims. This includes not only the physical impact of an injury, but also the impact of mental injuries, such as emotional distress. Fortunately, it is often possible for Florida accident victims to recover compensation for their pain and suffering, both physical and mental, after an accident, so if you were recently injured in a serious accident, you should speak with an experienced Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer who can walk you through your legal options.

Types of Pain and Suffering

Regardless of the type of accident a person is involved in, sustaining an injury is a traumatic experience. This is especially true for those who are injured in serious accidents or who witness the loss of a loved one and may suffer from pain and suffering. When it comes to personal injury law, there are actually two types of pain and suffering, which are known as physical pain and suffering and mental pain and suffering.

Physical Pain and Suffering

Physical pain and suffering, as its name suggests, refers to the pain of a victim’s bodily injuries, such as head trauma, broken bones, or lacerations. This term encompasses all of the physical pain and discomfort that a person must suffer after sustaining these types of injuries, as well as the negative effects that they are likely to suffer in the future. For instance, a person who sustains a back injury in a car accident may suffer from back pain and muscle spasms for years to come.

Mental Pain and Suffering

Mental pain and suffering, although a result of a person’s physical injury, should be thought of more as the negative emotions that are a by-product of having to endure the physical pain of an accident. For instance, mental pain and suffering consists of mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress, fear, shock, depression, and anxiety.

Accident victims who pursue non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, often seek compensation for two specific categories of mental pain and suffering: mental anguish and emotional distress.

Mental Anguish and Emotional Distress

Mental anguish is a legal term used to describe a high level of mental distress and pain. More than just feelings of anger or sadness, mental anguish is akin to feelings of anxiety, grief, PTSD, and depression, which are often accompanied by a loss of appetite, mood swings, lack of energy, and sleep disturbances. These effects can quickly become intolerable for an accident victim who may be unable to return to work, maintain healthy relationships, or even leave their home. In these cases, injured parties can continue to claim damages like lost wages, even if their physical injuries have healed.

Emotional distress is similar, in that it encompasses a wide range of negative feelings, such as sadness, anger, and fear. To qualify as suffering from emotional distress, a person must experience these feelings constantly and as a direct result of someone else’s wrongful or negligent actions. In most cases, injured parties can only receive compensation for emotional distress if the problems are medically noted by a doctor and related to the onset of specific physical injuries sustained in a particular accident.

Finding Support for Your Pain and Suffering

Contact Boone & Davis at 954-566-9919 or fill out a free case evaluation form today and to explore your legal options with a dedicated personal injury lawyer.





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