Being injured as a result of another's negligence can have lasting impacts on a victim. Aside from healing from physical injuries, mental injuries may require years of treatment to heal as well. When this emotional distress directly impacts a victim's daily life, it's known as pain and suffering. As we prepare for Mental Health Awareness Month 2019 this May, we feel it's important to discuss the psychological impact of a personal injury, and your legal rights to compensation.
No matter how you received your injuries, suffering a personal injury is a traumatic experience. No personal injury victim should go through these feelings alone. At the Weinstein Legal Team, we fight hard for the victims of personal injury so that they can have a fair chance at receiving the compensation they deserve.
If you've recently suffered an accident that resulted in personal injury and have been feeling negative emotions such as fear, depression, or mood swings, you may be wondering what you can do. Learn more about what mental anguish and emotional distress mean, and how you can seek compensation for them.
The Two Types of Pain and Suffering
In personal injury cases, a victim can seek both economical and non-economical damages. Economical damages consist of medical costs, such as doctor's visits and treatments as well as lost wages and property damage. Non-economical damages differ in that they are not set, billed amounts. There is no price tag on non-economical damages.
Non-economical damages consist of damages such as loss of enjoyment of life as well as pain and suffering. However, many fail to realize that pain and suffering does not solely refer to bodily pain resulting from injury. In fact, there are two types of pain and suffering: physical and mental.
- Physical Pain and Suffering: This is the pain of the victim's bodily injuries, such as broken bones, spinal trauma, or head injuries. This encompasses the pain and discomfort the victim has suffered to date as well as the negative effects that they are likely to suffer in the future as result of the at-fault individual's negligence. For instance, perhaps the victim suffered a spinal injury and will permanently experience back pain and muscle spasms.
- Mental Pain and Suffering: This pain is the result of the victim being physically injured, but is more of a by-product of these physical injuries. Mental pain and suffering consists of any type of negative emotion that the victim suffers as a result of having to endure the physical pain and trauma of an accident. Mental pain and suffering consists of items such as mental anguish, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, fear, anger, shock, and more.
In a personal injury case, it is typical to pursue compensation for economical damages. However, a victim of personal injury can also seek compensation for non-economic damages, specifically for mental pain and suffering. With this, a victim can prove a variety of negative mental impacts. However, many victims typically pursue compensation for two specific items: mental anguish and emotional distress.
What is Emotional Distress?
Following a personal injury, feelings of emotional distress are very common. Emotional distress encompasses negative feelings, such as:
With claims of emotional distress, it is important to note that these feelings are not just fleeting moments of aggression or feeling sad throughout the week. As part of pain and suffering damages, feelings of emotional distress are essentially a constant state that began after the personal injury took place. Emotional distress is also a direct result of another's negligence.
In general, to receive compensation for emotional distress it must be medically noted by a physician and related to the onset of physical injuries.
What is Mental Anguish?
Mental anguish refers to a high level of mental distress and pain. These feelings are more significant than anger or sadness. For example, mental anguish includes feelings of:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Loss of appetite
- Lack of energy
- Mood swings
- Sleep disturbances or insomnia
- Sexual dysfunction
Mental anguish following a personal injury greatly impacts a victim's daily life. Feelings of depression or PTSD can result in difficulty sleeping, intense mood swings, and a significant loss of appetite that can result in rapid and unhealthy weight loss.
Mental anguish can become so intolerable for the victim that it prevents him or her from leaving the house or returning to work, even after their physical injuries have healed. In this case, the victim can continue to claim damages such as lost wages, despite the healing of their physical injuries. Due to their personal injury, a victim's mental anguish can continue to keep them out of work or from resuming life as usual, which is cause for compensation.
Finding Support for Pain and Suffering
No matter what type of personal injury you've suffered, the last thing you need is to feel isolated. You are not alone in your feelings. If emotional distress or mental anguish has darkened your daily life, you deserve compensation for your damages.
Weinstein Legal is a trusted personal injury law firm with experience dealing with victims who have been physically and emotionally harmed as a result of another's negligence. Contact the Weinstein Legal Team or fill out a free case evaluation form today to explore your options.