Suing for Mental Anguish
Posted on Monday, May 15th, 2023 at 6:09 pm
When someone’s involved in a car crash, slip-and-fall, or another type of accident, the effects don’t stop at their physical injuries. Many people involved in these accidents suffer deep psychological pain, especially if they have long-term or permanent injuries. This mental anguish can severely hamper someone’s quality of life, and people with mental anguish deserve compensation for the harm they’ve suffered.
The Oklahoma personal injury attorneys at Abel Law Firm understand your mental anguish after an accident can be just as severe as your physical injuries, perhaps even more so. We’re here to help you recover compensation for all your losses after an accident, and below, you’ll find more information on suing for mental anguish.
What Is Mental Anguish?
Mental anguish is a form of emotional distress, a deeply personal and subjective experience that impacts every area of your life. It is not as tangible as a broken bone or a laceration, but it can hurt just as much if not more. Depending on the circumstances, your mental anguish might manifest as overwhelming anxiety, extreme sadness, or constant worry about your future. You might find yourself unable to sleep or eat or persistently reliving the moment of the accident in your mind. It could even lead to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a severe anxiety disorder that can occur after a traumatic event.
Mental anguish is real, and it is valid. It’s an unfortunate aftermath of many accidents and personal injuries. As much as it affects your life, knowing that the law recognizes this type of suffering and offers avenues for you to seek compensation is essential.
How to Prove Mental Anguish
Unlike physical injuries, emotional distress isn’t something you can immediately see or measure with an X-ray or MRI. However, with a solid approach and the right guidance, it’s very much possible to substantiate your claim of mental anguish. Here’s how you can do it:
- Medical Records: These play a crucial role in validating your mental anguish. Visiting a mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, or therapist, can provide documented proof of your emotional distress. They can diagnose and record symptoms of anxiety, depression, PTSD, and other mental health conditions you might suffer from due to the accident. These records testify to the severity of your condition and its impact on your life.
- Personal Diary or Journal: Maintaining a journal documenting your daily feelings and experiences can be powerful. This can provide a chronological record of your emotional struggle, highlighting how your life has changed since the accident. It’s essential to be honest and detailed in your entries.
- Witness Testimonies: Statements from friends, family, co-workers, or anyone who knows you well can help establish the change in your behavior or emotional state following the accident. They can testify to your emotional struggles, personality changes, or any difficulties you’ve had in performing daily activities.
- Proof of Therapy or Medication: Receipts for therapy sessions, prescription medications, or other forms of mental health treatment can also substantiate your claim. These demonstrate that you’re seeking help to cope with your mental anguish, adding credibility to your case.
- Expert Testimony: Sometimes, having a mental health expert testify on your behalf can be beneficial. These experts can explain your symptoms, the seriousness of your condition, and how it directly relates to the accident you experienced.
Remember, each case is unique, and the specific evidence required may vary. Our experienced attorneys are here to guide you through the process, ensuring that your mental anguish is appropriately recognized and compensated.
Does Oklahoma Cap Compensation for Mental Anguish?
Technically, Oklahoma law caps compensation for non-economic damages (meaning your losses that don’t have a specific dollar value) at $350,000. However, in 2019 the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled this law was unconstitutional, even if it’s still on the books. Proving mental anguish in a personal injury case is still a challenge, so we recommend hiring a lawyer to help you maximize your compensation.
How Our Attorneys Can Help You Sue for Mental Anguish
Because mental anguish isn’t immediately apparent like a physical injury, recovering compensation for it is often challenging. Our Oklahoma personal injury lawyers can gather your medical records, speak with mental health experts, and handle other tasks to prove your mental anguish. We can also handle all the details and legal work of your case. We know you’re in pain and want to make this process as simple as possible.
The team at Abel Law Firm knows mental anguish from an accident is real and understands the toll it can take on your life. Call us at (405) 239-7046 or reach out online for a consultation with one of our compassionate attorneys.