Recovering Damages for Mental Anguish
Suffering a physical injury as a result of someone else’s negligence can have lasting consequences for victims, who may be forced to take time off from work, pay expensive medical bills, and grapple with chronic pain. Unfortunately, these are not the only types of injuries from which accident victims may sustain, as those who are involved in especially catastrophic or tragic accidents may also suffer from mental injuries, such as emotional distress, for years to come.
When emotional distress starts directly impacting a person’s daily life, the affected individual could be eligible to recover damages for his or her pain and suffering. However, proving that you have suffered a mental injury is much more difficult than providing evidence of a physical injury, so if you were injured in an accident and now suffer from depression, anxiety, or mood swings, it is important to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you seek compensation for all of your injuries, both physical and mental.
Physical Pain and Suffering
There are two main types of damages that certain accident victims are eligible to recover: economic and non-economic damages. The former refers to losses that are easily quantifiable, such as medical bills and lost wages, while the latter refers to losses that are more difficult to calculate, such as mental anguish and pain and suffering. While most people associate the phrase pain and suffering with the physical pain that an injured party must endure, the reality is that there are actually two forms of pain and suffering.
The first form does indeed refer to the pain of a person’s bodily injuries, whether they be broken bones or head trauma. These damages, when awarded, attempt to compensate victims for the physical pain and discomfort that they suffered, and are likely to suffer, as a result of their physical injuries. Someone who suffers a spinal injury, for instance, is likely to experience back pain and muscle spasms for the rest of his or her life.
Mental Pain and Suffering
Mental pain and suffering, which also falls under the category of non-economic damages, similarly refers to the pain suffered by an accident victim, but represents the type of mental pain that tends to be a by-product of severe accidents, such as:
- Mental anguish;
- Emotional distress;
- Depression; and
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
This type of mental anguish can significantly impact the quality of a person’s life, as he or she could suffer from insomnia, PTSD, mood swings, and loss of appetite. Some injured parties may find themselves unable to return to work, even after their physical injuries have healed. Fortunately, plaintiffs who suffer from these kinds of mental injuries because they were involved in a serious accident, or because they lost a loved one in such an accident, can collect damages compensating them for their anxiety and depression. However, injured parties must still usually present evidence of their pain and suffering, or emotional distress. A medical diagnosis, supporting doctor’s notes, and expert opinion are often sufficient to satisfy this requirement.
Consult with an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you were involved in a serious accident and now suffer from depression or anxiety, you could be eligible for damages. Please call 954-566-9919 to learn more about your legal options from one of the dedicated Fort Lauderdale catastrophic injury lawyers at Boone & Davis today.