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Accidents often cause emotional trauma. Fear, anxiety, and guilt can follow you long after physical wounds have healed. Most of the time, emotional trauma requires therapy, which can be expensive and cause the injured party even more stress. Fortunately, you can be compensated for emotional damages in many cases. Here’s what to know about being compensated for emotional trauma.
What Is Emotional Distress?
In a legal sense, emotional distress is a type of damage that falls under the broader term of pain and suffering. It is considered non-economic damage, as no real monetary value can be placed on it.
The state of Texas protects victims of accidents by allowing them to pursue compensation for both economic and non-economic damages. However, the victim must be able to prove that they experienced or are still experiencing emotional distress due to the accident in order to receive compensation.
Types of Accidents That Often Lead to Emotional Trauma
Emotional distress can rob the joy and sense of security that a person may have once felt in their home or out in public. It is often the result of a horrific accident, such as but not limited to:
- Car accidents: Car accidents can be very jarring and result in an individual being afraid to get back behind the wheel or ride in a vehicle.
- Plane crashes: Plane crashes are known for their extensive damage and low survival rate. Due to the sheer force of a plane and the destruction that results from a crash, survivors may suffer serious PTSD and survivor’s guilt.
- Work accidents: Work accidents can cause serious physical and emotional damage. Individuals injured on the job may feel guilt or shame for pursuing compensation from their employer or they may be ostracized by their team.
- Wrongful deaths: The loss of a loved one is never easy, but when it happens suddenly and unexpectedly, it can feel like the world is falling apart.
- Dog bites/attacks: While dogs make great pets, their attacks can cause a lot of damage. Victims of dog bites can suffer from PTSD and disfigurement depending on the severity of the attack. Children especially have a harder time overcoming the emotional effects of a dog bite and may grow up fearing them.
Emotional Trauma Lawsuit
Most of the time, you do not need to be diagnosed with an emotional disorder to seek compensation for mental anguish. You have to be able to prove that the accident resulted in emotional stress and it was caused by another’s negligence. Types of emotional distress that you may be able to seek compensation for include:
Mental Anguish Lawsuits in the State of Texas
In the state of Texas, a plaintiff may be eligible to sue for mental anguish damages without any physical injuries. Awards are generally given when the case involves the following circumstances:
- A bystander witnessed a traumatic event, such as the death of a loved one.
- A person’s privacy was invaded during a crime, such as when a burglar breaks into a home.
- Defamation, or the destruction of one’s reputation.
- A child abduction resulting in extreme mental anguish for the child and parents.
How to Prove Emotional Distress
In order to be awarded emotional damages, the plaintiff must be able to provide evidence that the accident resulted in suffering from mental anguish. They need clear and convincing evidence to prove to the judge and jury that the claim is more likely true than not true. Each personal injury case is unique but the following points are often considered clear evidence to a court when proving emotional distress:
- Medical and therapy records
- An official medical diagnosis, such as depression or post-traumatic stress disorder
- Statements from the victim, their friends, or family as to the change in the plaintiff’s behavior after the accident
- Expert testimony from doctors or a psychologist
- The victim’s injury journal
- Photographs showing scarring or disfigurement caused by the accident
Reliable Personal Injury Attorneys in Amarillo, Texas
If you or a loved one has been suffering emotional trauma as the result of an accident, you may be eligible for compensation for medical expenses and damages. The personal injury attorneys at the Hernandez Law Group, P.C. are here to help you gather the evidence to support your claim and get the compensation you deserve. Juan Hernandez has years of experience and is one of the two percent of Texas Board Certified personal injury attorneys in the state. Don’t waste another minute—contact Hernandez Law Group today.