How is mental anguish from personal injury proven?

by Dec 1, 2020Auto Accident, Personal Injury

How is mental anguish from personal injury proven?

by Dec 1, 2020Auto Accident, Personal Injury

How to prove mental anguish from personal injury
How to prove mental anguish from personal injury

You are careful and cautious when you drive. You don’t take unnecessary chances and you follow all the traffic rules. Unfortunately, you cannot control the actions of others. And if you have been hit by a driver who is not as conscientious, you can hold them accountable for any injuries you suffer.

Injuries that result from a car accident can throw your life into upheaval. They can leave you incapacitated, which may prevent you from working and earning a living. A broken body is a possible outcome of a car crash. So is a broken mind. If you have suffered long-term psychological damage as a result of the accident, you can make claims against the person responsible for the crash.

The Consequences of Mental Anguish

When most people hear of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), they think of veterans of foreign wars. But PTSD and various derivatives of it can affect anyone who has suffered a violent experience.

After a serious car crash, you will be rushed to the hospital. The medical team will then do what is necessary to stitch up your wounds and put you on the path to recovery. The damage done to your body can be dealt with through surgeries and other medical procedures. Through medication, rehabilitation, and convalescence your body can heal; and in time, you may enjoy a full physical recovery.

Your mind may not heal as fast as your body. In fact, the former may continue to deteriorate even as the latter improves. You cannot live a normal life if you suffer from mental anguish from personal injury or mental anguish from a car crash. If you find yourself in this difficult situation, you should speak with your attorney. Proving mental anguish in a personal injury claim is not always easy, but your lawyer can provide you with the insight and direction you need to do so.

Proving Mental Anguish in Personal Injury Claim

To prove that mental anguish from personal injury has affected your daily life and routine, you will need to supply evidence concerning the type, extent, and duration of your suffering. You will need to show more than anxiety, anger, confusion, or worry: being upset by what happened does not rise to the level of serious psychological harm.

Although it is difficult for anyone whose mental health has been suddenly and significantly damaged to communicate their pain, the court gives some latitude for such statements. However, the best way to prove your case is to supply expertly diagnosed medical problems. Such as:

  • Ulcers or stomach pain caused by the post-traumatic stress of the accident
  • Treatment for anxiety or depression
  • Treatment for insomnia and panic attacks
  • Treatment for any number of mood disorders

Only those who have experienced mental anguish from personal injury or mental anguish from car crashes themselves can truly understand what you are going through. However, you will need to give a personal testimony of how your mental problems have impacted your life. Such statements can also be made by members of your family and the people you work with.

Although you are the subject of the treatments administered for your condition, you are not the best person to discuss them. This should be done by your physician and other experts.

In summary, the best way to prove mental anguish is by submitting the following types of evidence:

  • Personal testimony (your own and that of people closest to you)
  • Expert testimony
  • Your medical records

Non-Economic Damages

Mental anguish is a form of non-economic damage that you can claim. If your medically diagnosed depression and distress have significantly impacted your life, you can receive compensation for it. Non-economic damages cover the kind of losses that cannot necessarily be seen and itemized. They are often difficult to calculate. However, juries sometimes award more money in non-economic damages than they do for direct out-of-pocket losses.

There is no standard formula for calculating economic damages. However, the stronger the case is made for how the accident has impacted your life, the greater your chances for receiving a better settlement value or jury verdict. For example, if you once lived a rich, prosperous, and promising life and you now live in hopelessness and despair due to the mental damage, the better the possibility for a jury to recognize this and compensate you accordingly.

Leave It All to Your Lawyer

The thing you must constantly keep in mind is that you will have a vigorous legal opposition to your case. Because mental anguish claims are based on statements and evidence that are open to interpretation, proving that you have suffered material injury can be difficult. That is why you must follow the advice and counsel of your attorney.

Here are some specific actions you want to take and others you want to avoid:

1. Hire a lawyer as soon as possible after the accident

After a serious car crash, the first people you will want to see are your family and friends. But once you become aware of your situation, you should consult with a personal injury lawyer. You will need some time to get better. And if you begin to realize that your mind is not keeping pace with your body in the recovery process, you should make this known to your attorney.

2. Allow your lawyer to speak for you

If the other driver was at fault for the car crash, their insurance company may be liable for paying damages. The aim of insurance companies is not to look after the financial interests of their clients or to do what is in your best interests; it is to increase their profits. To this end, they will seek to minimize the amount of money they pay-out for any claim.

You should never accept an initial offer from an insurance company; it is certain to be below the value of your case. In fact, you should have no direct dealings with the insurance company. Any phone calls, emails, letters, or text messages you receive should be referred to your attorney. Let your attorney handle all communications and negotiations with the insurance company. This is the best way to avoid confusion about your position and committing to an offer that short-changes you.

3. Stay in treatment

You should continue your physical therapy sessions and stay on any medications that have been prescribed for you. Your entire case rests on your physical and mental damage. Therefore, stick to the therapy schedule and follow all medical orders given to you by your doctor. Any abrupt departure from any of these directives can harm your case.

4. Stay off social media

Lawyers and insurance adjusters for the opposing side will look for anything to discredit your case. They will look through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and other social media sites, find any accounts you may have on them, and scrutinize the content for any material they can use against you.

While you are going through legal proceedings, you should keep posts and updates on these sites to a minimum. Indeed, it is probably a good idea to suspend all activity on social media until your claim is resolved. Even posts that seem benign and innocent can be used against you.

Your lawyer aims to get the maximum amount of money for your case. To that end, they will gather the evidence necessary and pressure the other side to make an offer that is commensurate with all that you have been through.

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