Mental and Emotional Injuries
Car accidents can result in serious physical injury to drivers, passengers as well as pedestrians. However, car accidents can also leave drivers and passengers with mental and emotional injuries that may not be immediately apparent.
It must be noted that mental and emotional injuries may not be immediately apparent after the accident. Mental and emotional injuries are known as pain and suffering in personal injury litigation. One definition for pain and suffering is the “physical or emotional distress resulting from an injury”.
Mental and emotional injuries can be mild to extremely serious and can include problems such as:
- Mental anguish
- Emotional distress
Even individuals who are affected by mild cases of mental or emotional distress can experience the following symptoms:
- Bouts of crying
- Severe anger
- Loss of appetite
- Weight fluctuations
- Lack of energy
- Sexual dysfunction or loss of interest in sex
- Mood swings
- Sleep disturbances
One article stated that, “a mild case of mental or emotional distress might go away relatively quickly but a more severe case might require professional medical or psychological assistance”.
Mental and Emotional Injury Compensation
In more severe cases of there may be specific diagnosis such as acute stress disorder or even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). With regards to PTSD, the patient keeps replaying the accident over and over in their head or begin to fear certain types of driving situations. However, in some cases PTSD can become paralyzing for individuals who do not get help sooner than later.
To get compensation for any type of injury, including mental and emotional injuries, there must be proof. To prove mild mental anguish or emotional distress in a lawsuit, the plaintiff just tells the jury what happened. However, with more severe mental and emotional injuries proof must be provided through medical testimony. Therefore, this proof is provided by the plaintiff’s mental health provider who testifies as to the diagnosis.