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Mental Anguish Damages
In Texas, proving and recovering mental anguish damages is not simple. When it comes to money that they can’t see (for example, medical expenses), juries are prudent. As a result, insurance adjusters provide very little compensation for mental anguish. The evidence required is more than simply a plaintiff stating that they are unhappy. Witnesses and medical professionals can aid in the establishment of this argument and raise the chances that you will win your case.
You must suffer from a high level of mental anguish to be eligible for compensation in Texas. In Texas, mental anguish is defined as more than simple disappointment, resentment, embarrassment, or annoyance. What courts in Texas consider are feelings such as sorrow, severe disappointment, and shame. Those who are diagnosed with sleeplessness, ulcers, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and fear can all provide proof of mental anguish.
Call Texas Personal Injury Lawyers for a free consultation as well as a free strategy session with a personal injury lawyer if you are suffering from mental anguish due to an accident. A strategy session includes a summary of your case, the identification of legal issues involved in your case, and the identification of those legal issues that will assist you to receive maximal compensation for your mental anguish damages in your situation. We will send you a copy of this strategy session as proof of our work.
Call us at (888) 997-2148 for your free consultation. We take cases on a contingency fee basis and there are no costs unless we win, and the consultation is completely free.
Proving Damages For Mental Anguish
When you’re asking for compensation for mental anguish, you must establish that you incurred expenses. Personal injury claims do not need to provide proof beyond a reasonable doubt, as they are not the same as criminal trials. Instead, your losses must be proved by a preponderance of the evidence. This implies that you must merely show that you are very probable to have incurred the damages, rather than that there is no doubt about it.
The most serious claims for mental anguish are those based on physical harm or significant emotional trauma. Getting medical attention and following through with any treatment recommendations outlined by your doctor is one of the best ways to demonstrate that you have been physically harmed in this manner. Since you are both physically and mentally disabled, your medical records will now show this. This is recorded in your medical records, which you may then use to establish that you were mentally disturbed as a consequence of the accident.
You should also keep a diary of your injuries and how they are affecting your life. It’s important to document these things down because your recollections may fade as time goes on, and you may forget about how they affected your daily routine. Take pictures of your injuries, hospitalizations, and anything else that indicates the severity of your injuries caused you mental anguish.
Witnesses can lend legitimacy to your claim for compensation for mental anguish. Family and friends may also give testimony, which is essential evidence in a case for mental anguish. Your loved ones might discuss how your injuries have impacted your life, how you can no longer enjoy pastimes you once liked, and more. These papers and medical experts’ witness testimony can also aid you in demonstrating your losses if you are seeing a mental health professional for your psychological trauma.
Proving Mental Anguish In A Personal Injury Case
Recovering compensation for mental anguish through a personal injury claim is based on the Parkway Co. v. Woodruff standard set by the Texas Supreme Court in 1995.
You must demonstrate the nature, extent, and duration of your mental anguish in order to obtain compensation. This implies that you must show how it affected your day-to-day life and routine.
Caps On Damages For Mental Anguish
It’s not unusual for states to set limits on damages, particularly non-economic ones like mental anguish. These limitations are particularly restricting for accident victims since they do not provide them with the entire amount of money they are entitled to.
Texas Law Regarding Mental Anguish
According to Texas courts, mental anguish claims have been scorned in tort lawsuits for quite some time. They were initially allowed in Texas cases where there was a physical injury or a particularly distressing occurrence. In the past, Texas courts have recognized mental anguish damages when a physical condition is caused by mental stress. The Texas Supreme Court explains the kinds of evidence required to establish mental anguish losses in Parkway Co. v. Woodruff, 901 S.W.2d 434 (Tex.1995), which is cited below.)
The Texas Supreme Court defined the circumstances in which mental anguish may be compensated in City of Tyler v. Likes, 962 S.W.2d 489 (Tex. 1997). In this instance, the Texas Supreme Court ruled that mental anguish is recoverable in the following situations:
- Where there is a Physical injury: If a person is physically harmed, he or she may be able to seek mental anguish damages.
- Where there is No physical injury: Intentional or malicious activity, breaches of a duty involving a special relationship, and especially awful events may all result in mental anguish damages for plaintiffs.
Intentional or malicious actions include assault and battery, defamation, invasion of privacy, child abduction, and knowing violation of the law such as the DTPA.
Breach of duty in a special relationship: In Texas, the following cases have resulted in mental anguish damages being recognized: doctor-patient relationships, insurance-insured interactions, dealing with a deceased person and delivering a death notice.
Wrongful death, as well as the upset caused by it, and the grief that ensues are all extremely distressing occurrences. In some circumstances, bystander injuries can also occur.
In personal injury claims, mental anguish is frequently included with bodily discomfort. However, in Texas, it is regarded as a different component of harm.
The law in Texas permits for the recovery of mental anguish without physical harm only under these conditions:
- bystander cases;
- intentional tort – child abduction;
- invasion of privacy;
- telegraph company failing to deliver a death message in a timely manner (from the old days – still a law); and
- negligent handling of a corpse.
According to Texas courts, a high level of mental pain that is greater than simple disappointment, vexation, mortification, or annoyance has been termed mental anguish. Grief, severe disappointment, public humiliation, despair, shame, wounded pride, or indignation are all more closely associated with “mental anguish” in Texas courts. See Parkway Co. v. Woodruff, 901 S.W.2d 434 (Tex.1995). A jury awarded $1 million in damages for mental anguish caused by insomnia, ulcers, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and fear and anxiety after the court affirmed a similar award. In Woodruff, homeowners sued a builder alleging damage from a flood at their property. The plaintiffs were not forthcoming with additional evidence because their testimonies only addressed the existence of “mere emotions” such as “I was hot,” “It was simply distressing,” and “I was upset.” Woodruff, 901 S.W.2d at 434.
Call Texas Personal Injury Lawyers Today
After an accident, don’t forget to address your mental anguish. This is especially true if it was caused by someone else’s negligence, carelessness, or recklessness.
When you have a personal injury claim, it’s essential to work with an attorney who understands the ramifications of an accident beyond physical damage. Texas Personal Injury Lawyers, we have all of the resources you need and will thoroughly analyze your injuries and the accident that caused them to ensure you are awarded an appropriate amount of money for your mental anguish damages.
We’ll be delighted to answer any questions you might have about your mental anguish damages claim.
Call us at (888) 997-2148 now for you free consultation.
We take cases on a contingency fee basis and there are no costs unless we win, and the consultation is completely FREE. Contact us to learn what Texas Personal Injury Lawyers can accomplish for you.