Mental Distress and Personal Injury Law

Mental Distress and Personal Injury Law
Mental Distress and Personal Injury Law
October 3, 2016

Any injury that is sustained by an individual as a result of negligence on the part of another is classified under personal injury. Lawyers who are specialized in personal injury interpret these laws in ways that will favor their clients. Lawyers who are not knowledgeable on the other hand will often ignore the psychological trauma of the injury.

Emotional responses and trauma should be the front burner

Personal injury law specialists have laid emphasis on anguish and other emotional trauma as elements that should be brought up during a personal injury case. Anxiety and depression are some of the psychological effects that follow a traumatizing experience such as road traffic accident.

Read also: The Possibility of Suing When You are Injured Riding on the Back of a Pickup

Some attorneys classify anguish and physical suffering together

Mental distress is a major problem on its own. Sadly, many attorneys will make reference to lump mental distress and physical suffering as one. The major problem with mental problem is that the extent of damage is not easily quantifiable like physical injuries. Also, mental distress may not manifest during the accident until many years later.

Psychological stress may come up many years later

There have been cases where accident victims who thought they sustained minor injuries are faced with emotional distress and reoccurring memory loss. Research has shown that every accident victim undergoes a certain level of anxiety. The level and duration of the anxiety or depression will depend on the individual involved.

Tolling of the statutes is allowed for mental distress

Statute of limitation is the time frame within which the injured party can seek redress in court. If this time has elapsed, the case may no longer be heard. A case of mental distress is one of the exceptions where the statute of limitation is tolled. Tolling of the statute is when a case is judged even when the time window has elapsed.

Read also: Car Accident Cases: Four Ways to Establish Breach of Care

There is a cap on emotional distress case

A state like California has a cap on the amount that can be claimed by someone undergoing emotional distress. In general, any injury that is linked to a non-economic damage is liable to a compensation plan not greater than two hundred and fifty thousand dollars.

It is hard to prove a mental distress claim

Unlike physical injuries, a case of mental distress may not be easy to prove. Attorneys handling such a case will have to rely on psychologists to be able to produce evidence that shows the plaintiff is suffering. The attorney is also laden with the responsibility of unraveling the following:

  • Determining the severity of the mental distress,
  • Determining the nature of the distress,
  • Determining the duration of the mental distress.

Attorneys should let the plaintiff communicate their grief

One way attorneys can determine the severity of the mental distress suffered by their plaintiffs is to let them communicate their grief. Listening to someone to communicate his grief will give you an insight into the amount of psychological torture he is going through.

Read also: Bicycle Accident Claim: Who can be Held Responsible?

Different states have variations in the personal injury laws

Personal injury laws vary remarkably from one state to another. For example, in Texas, medical distress is submerged into personal injury case seeking recovery if the victim is a bystander, has his or her privacy violated or is the subject of defamation.

The claim for severe mental distress is high

Mental stress is one area that attracts the most claims especially if the accident resulted into a serious mental degeneration. For this reason, attorneys should not overlook the idea of filing a suit for mental distress if they really want to get the most benefits for their clients.

Read also: Risks Associated with Hands-Free Chatting while Driving

Article highlights

  • Personal injuries are injuries caused by the negligence of another.
  • Different injuries are classified under different personal injury law.
  • Compensation for mental distress is high.
  • It is hard to ascertain the extent of a mental injury.
  • Many lawyers ignore the emotional trauma of their client.
  • Anxiety and depression are common outcomes of accidents.
  • Some mental stress will occur later in life.
  • The time within which the injured can file a claim is called statute of limitation.
  • Communicating with plaintiff will help to ascertain the level of their grief.
  • Personal injury laws vary remarkably from one State to another.

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