Do Personal Injury Cases Include Mental Injuries?

November 20, 2023

When you think of injuries, the first thing that comes to mind is most likely some sort of physical harm. Perhaps you think of a broken bone, bruising, or bleeding. Suffice it to say, it’s unlikely that you immediately thought of mental injuries. However, as anyone who has experienced a traumatic event can tell you, mental injuries can be just as painful as physical ones. Sometimes, mental trauma can be even more debilitating in the long term. When you want to pursue compensation from a negligent individual or company, work with an attorney who understands the role of mental injuries in personal injury claims.

Accounting for Mental Injuries in Personal Injury Claims

Personal injury law sets out a distinction between economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages specifically refer to the financial losses a person experiences as a direct result of the incident leading to their injuries. Most often, this category of damages includes compensation for lost wages, medical bills, and even the potential loss of future earnings due to disability. Ideally, economic damages are intended to reimburse the injured party for the cost of their medical care as well as any other costs they incurred while being treated.

In contrast, non-economic damages exist to account for the emotional and psychological suffering one endures as a result of their injuries. These types of damages may include compensation for mental anguish, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, or loss of consortium. While it may be difficult to quantify the amount of suffering you have endured, non-economic damages attempt to make up for the less tangible but nonetheless significant pain that can arise from someone’s reckless actions.

Quantifying Losses From Mental Injuries

Ideally, there would be some sort of strict, measurable guideline to ensure you are awarded fair compensation for your pain and suffering. Unfortunately, this is not the case within the U.S. legal system. Instead, your damages are ultimately determined by a jury of your peers who come together to calculate how much they believe you deserve to be compensated based on your testimony in court. The jury does not blindly award a random amount for your pain and suffering but instead uses a few guidelines to calculate your non-economic damages. Compensation for pain and suffering can range anywhere from one to four times the total cost of your medical bills, in addition to any other relevant expenses. Generally speaking, juries will award damages for mental injuries based on the reliability of your testimony as well as proper medical documentation.

Contact a Personal Injury Attorney to Pursue Non-Economic Damages

While there is no way to guarantee that the court will award damages for your mental injuries, there are ways to present your case so that the jury will view you and your concerns more favorably. For more information on how to effectively pursue the compensation you deserve, contact Lowenthal and Abrams to speak with our trusted team of personal injury attorneys.


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