The damaged caused by personal injuries goes beyond the obvious physical injuries like broken bones and bruises. Some of the worst damage is psychological. This category includes but isn’t limited to pain, suffering, grief, depression, sleep disorders, and mental anguish. Here is an overview of how to seek compensation for mental anguish.
How to Seek Compensation for General Mental Anguish
Mental anguish covers nearly any pain, suffering or mental disorder caused by an injury or trauma. It includes but isn’t limited to anxiety, mood disorders, stress, phobias, and depression. If the disorder is recognized by the psychiatric community and can be linked to the accident, you can seek compensation for it.
The challenge in personal injury cases is proving the mental anguish and its impact. It isn’t as obvious how depression after an accident makes it hard to work and care for family as the loss of a leg impacts one’s ability to work. Plaintiffs must outline the psychological disorder(s) they are afflicted with, have the claims verified by licensed mental health professionals, and prove that it affects their ability to function in various aspects of their lives. Then they must prove that the actions or negligence by the defendant caused the mental anguish.
How to Seek Compensation for PTSD
A normal response to a dog attack would be to develop a phobia or fear of dogs. This is due to the brain trying to process the incident and develop protection from a repeat occurrence, namely, making you want to avoid what the mind thinks is the root cause. In some cases, the brain’s emergency response system short circuits, causing the person to constantly relive the terrifying ordeal again and again, in an effort to determine how to deal with it.
In other cases, they become paralyzed by the mind trying to identify every potential threat related to the incident they survived. PTSD may be less obvious than someone cowering in a corner in response to a “trigger”. It can cause them to be disorganized, feel out of sorts or unable to concentrate. Someone who was injured could get compensation for PTSD if they filed the right documentation with the help of an attorney.
PTSD can also be the result of cumulative exposure to trauma and horror. It is for this reason that paramedics, firefighters, disaster relief workers, and police officers can end up unable to work due to PTSD.
In any of these cases, it is a matter of documenting the health condition, linking it to the actions of the defendant you hold responsible, and suing for damages.
How to Seek Compensation for Other Non-Economic Damages
It is possible to sue for non-economic damages that we often think of as intangible. For example, you can sue for damages due to loss of companionship of a loved one or pet. You can sue for the damages associated with libel, humiliation, disfigurement, and general emotional distress.
These damages are difficult to calculate, but this can be done by a good personal injury attorney. They can estimate the damages due to the person’s personal or subjective experience. The plaintiff will need to show that they suffered these injuries, though it may be obvious in cases where someone died. However, if you cannot meet the “preponderance of evidence” or “more likely than not” evidentiary standard, you will not recover these damages.
It is possible to seek compensation for almost any type of mental anguish. However, it requires extensive documentation and expert legal advice if you are to have a chance of winning your case.