One of the most difficult types of injuries to prove are mental and emotional injuries after a car accident. Mental and emotional injuries can cause just as much damage as physical injuries, but it may be much harder to convince others that you are truly injured. However, victims of mental and emotional trauma are entitled to compensation just as victims of physical injury may be.
What Are Mental and Emotional Injuries?
Most mental and emotional injuries are referred to under the collective term “pain and suffering” in a personal injury case. These injuries range from fairly mild problems such as fear, anger, shock and distress to severe problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder.
People who suffer from mental and emotional trauma may experience fits of crying, anger, loss of appetite, mood swings, sexual problems or sleep disturbances. Sometimes these symptoms disappear quickly, but at other times they linger for a long time.
How Can I Treat Mental and Emotional Injuries?
Mental and emotional issues may need psychological treatment. In some cases, these symptoms will clear up on their own in time, but in other cases it may be necessary to seek professional help. Therapy may include drugs, counseling and psychotherapy to address underlying fear issues.
How Can I Prove These Injuries In Court?
Unfortunately, it is not as easy to “prove” that you have suffered emotional distress as it is to prove that you have suffered physical trauma. If you break a leg, for instance, you could show the jury x-rays of your broken bone. However, you cannot really show someone that you have suffered emotional trauma. In order to “prove” mental or emotional distress, you must rely on your testimony and that of others who might have evidence that shows your mental state. For example, family members might testify as to your personality changes after a serious accident.
It is not uncommon for insurance companies to accept a person’s claim of emotional distress as part of an overall settlement for an accident, provided the claim is not outlandish or out of proportion to the severity of the injury. Juries also tend to sympathize with someone who has been in an accident provided that they can relate to the amount of distress the person may have suffered.
Fortunately, most jurors understand that accidents are traumatic. If you have been hit by a car, for example, a reasonable juror will automatically assume that you suffered emotional as well as physical trauma. Juries are usually willing to award a certain amount of damages for mental and emotional distress proportionate to the severity of the accident. In other words, the greater the physical injury, the greater the likelihood of a large award by a jury for pain and suffering.
How Can David & Philpot, P.L. Help?
At David & Philpot, our Lakeland and Orlando Florida car accident attorneys are here to help you. We care about our clients and understand the mental and emotional issues a car accident can cause. We’ve been representing car accident victims in Florida for over 20 years and use that experience to achieve the best results we can for our clients. If you or a family member have been involved in an accident due to the negligence of someone else, give us a call today to discuss your case. There is no cost or obligation to talk with us. Call us directly at 800.360.7015 or fill out our free case evaluation form today.