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The Ins and Outs of Emotional Distress Damages in a Texas Personal Injury Case

by J. Gonzalez Injury Attorneys | September 15th, 2021 | Personal Injury

While living your day-to-day life, you may undergo a traumatic personal injury that may change your emotional and mental wellbeing forever. These accidents may range from car wrecks to workplace accidents or other unfortunate incidents. 

These accidents may cause severe emotional distress that impacts you psychologically and make life seem bleak. Despite all the obstacles and difficulties that you or a loved one may be facing, you have the right to demand justice and peace. 

Your Brownsville personal injury attorneys at J.Gonzalez Injury Attorneys are here to further explain what emotional distress means in the legal realm and how you may be able to obtain compensation for your painful experiences and injuries. 

What Is Emotional Distress?

Emotional distress, also commonly known as mental anguish, refers to the psychological and emotional toll suffered due to the negligent or intentional act caused by another.

Some of the most common examples of emotional distress include:

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Frustration
  • Guilt 
  • Bitterness
  • Insomnia
  • Panic attacks
  • Substance abuse

The Two Types of Emotional Distress Claims and Compensation in Texas

There are two main types of emotional damages that the State of Texas recognizes:

intentional infliction and negligent infliction.

Intentional infliction: this type of severe emotional distress is caused when another individual inflicts emotional and bodily harm on the victim. Some examples include sexual abuse, physical abuse, death threats, and assault. Usually, the individual causing harm to the other is displaying extreme behaviors. 

Negligent infliction: this type of emotional distress is caused by another individual whose actions were careless, causing an accident or injury upon the victim. Examples include a car accident, a slip and fall, or a workplace accident.

Whatever the emotional distress you or a loved one has suffered, you may be able to receive compensation for your case. The two main types of compensation you may be able to claim are:

  • Economic Compensation: This kind of compensation covers damages that have a specific monetary value. These include past and ongoing medical bills, loss of wages, or property damages, amongst others.
  • Noneconomic Compensations: Although this kind of compensation may be a bit harder to quantify, due to the nature of its damages, it is still very much possible to obtain. The damages that may count towards non-economic compensations include but are not limited to pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of consortium, and loss of joy in life. 

It is good to keep in mind, however, that there is a cap on the amount of compensation that you may be able to receive in the State of Texas. 

How To Prove Emotional Distress

Proving emotional distress may be cumbersome for the victim, however, your Brownsville personal injury attorney at J. Gonzalez Injury Attorneys is here to help with the process. 

The main key to proving emotional distress is to gather as much recorded evidence as possible. There are specific kinds of documentation that will be needed as evidence to support your claim. 

These forms of evidence can include: 

  • Receipts for any prescribed medication for anxiety, depression, etc.
  • Photographs or videos of the physical injuries which led to your emotional distress. 
  • Documenting, via a journal, your day-by-day experiences after your personal injury accident including details about how you feel physically and emotionally. 
  • Doctor’s referral for you to seek a mental evaluation and corresponding care. 
Did you know that Texas is one of the few states where victims of emotional distress may file a personal injury claim for mental anguish without having endured a physical injury? via @TopLawyerRGV #personalinjurylaw #emotionaldistress Click To Tweet

 

Main Challenges with Emotional Distress

The main challenge that personal injury lawyers have is proving that the accident or injury only caused mental harm. Mental anguish and emotional distress are subjective in nature, therefore, harder to validate in the court of law. Attempting to only prove that the case caused mental harm may require much more evidence than if the personal injury case also involved a physical injury. 

The following situations may warrant a claim for emotional distress damages: 

  • If a bystander happens to witness a traumatic event that led them to have emotional distress
  • Invasion of privacy
  • Defamation
  • Child abduction (for the parent/guardian that endured the mental anguish)

We understand the emotional toll that a catastrophic accident or injury may have on you or your loved one. And we believe that nobody should suffer a life of emotional pain and anguish. 

The personal injury lawyers of J. Gonzalez Injury Attorneys are here to help you secure the compensation you need to begin the healing process.

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