What do you need to know when suing for mental anguish?
If you or a loved one are suffering from mental anguish because of someone’s negligent or reckless actions, a personal injury claim or lawsuit might be the best course of action for you to receive compensation for your suffering. But as the personal injury attorneys at Cohn & Swartzon will explain, there are complicating factors that you and your lawyer will need to consider before you proceed.
What is Mental Anguish?
In legal terms, mental anguish is a high degree of mental pain and suffering that one party inflicts upon another.
In California, in the context of a personal injury claim or lawsuit, mental anguish is a component of emotional distress. This is a form of non-economic damage that you can seek compensation for in a personal injury claim or lawsuit.
Most mental anguish or emotional distress claims are related to physical or bodily injuries, but there are exceptions. If someone’s negligence caused the untimely death of a loved one, for example, you can pursue a wrongful death claim that includes emotional distress even though you may not have been injured physically or personally witnessing injuries to a family member while in close proximity to the injury producing event.
Examples of Psychological or Mental Anguish
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, some common symptoms of mental anguish include:
- Eating or sleeping too much or too little
- Loss of interest in daily activities
- Having low or no energy
- Feelings of worry, shame, or guilt with no obvious cause
- Unexplained aches and pains, like stomachaches or headaches
- Feeling helpless or hopeless
- Excessive smoking, drinking, or drug use, including prescription medications
- Violent or suicidal thoughts
Proving Your Claim When Suing for Mental Anguish with Cohn & Swartzon
Suing for non-economic damages like mental anguish or emotional distress alone can be difficult to do successfully. In California, these damages are typically included as the effects of personal injuries related to auto accidents, defective products, or catastrophic injuries. Often times psychological counseling can both help the victim get through the crisis and also provide valuable evidence to prove such a claim.
The most important role personal injury attorneys like the Cohn & Swartzon team play in these cases is proving the victim’s claims. To satisfy California’s instructions to civil juries, an attorney must prove negligence, emotional distress, and that the defendant’s negligence was a substantial factor in causing said distress.
“Mental anguish is a more accurate description of what many victims go through than ‘emotional distress’ because the effects can be so devastating. The mental toll of a serious injury or accident is an essential consideration in any personal injury lawsuit, and our firm works diligently to prove those facts on our clients’ behalf to help them recover and regain a normal life.”
– Saar Swartzon, Founding Principal, Cohn & Swartzon
If you or a loved one are living with mental anguish or emotional distress because of someone’s negligence or reckless actions, it’s important to contact a knowledgeable attorney as soon as possible to discuss the merits of your potential claim and the compensation you could be entitled to.
Request a free consultation with Cohn & Swartzon now to learn more about suing for mental anguish.