Indianapolis Emotional and Psychological Injury Lawyers
Personal injuries, such as car accidents and slip and fall accidents, often leave victims with physical injuries and impairments, but that’s not the only result of suffering from a personal injury. You may also suffer from emotional distress and need to call Indianapolis emotional and psychological injury lawyers.
Although most people are aware that you can recover damages for physical injuries, many don’t realize that you can also recover compensation for emotional and psychological distress caused by an accident or injury.
If you are struggling with emotional or psychological issues caused by another person’s negligence or deliberate wrongdoing, we encourage you to reach out to a personal injury lawyer. Contact the Indianapolis emotional and psychological injury lawyers at Crossen Law Firm. We’ve helped numerous Indiana residents receive the compensation they deserve for physical, emotional, and psychological injuries. Call us today at 317-401-8626.
What Are Emotional and Psychological Injuries?
Emotional and psychological injuries refer to the non-physical injuries that impact a person’s quality of life. When seeking damages for emotional and psychological distress, it’s known in court as “pain and suffering.” Plaintiffs can settle or sue based on physical injuries, but they can also hold someone legally accountable for pain and suffering rooted in emotional distress.
Legally, emotional distress means, “A highly unpleasant emotional reaction resulting from another’s conduct, for which damages may be sought,” and emotional distress may result from physical injuries or an event itself.
For example, you could suffer from emotional distress because of injuries you endured that resulted from a car accident, or you could suffer from emotional distress because of the accident itself.
Although emotional and psychological injuries are considered pain and suffering, they’re not the only types of pain and suffering. Other types include:
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Physical impairment
- Loss of companionship
Symptoms of Emotional and Psychological Injuries
There are many different symptoms that indicate you’re suffering from emotional and psychological injuries. These include:
- Loss of appetite
- Mood swings
- Panic attacks
These different symptoms may indicate that you have underlying emotional pains that were caused by physical injuries or traumatic events.
What Qualifies as Emotional Injuries?
Emotional injuries can manifest in different forms. Some of the most common types of injuries include:
- Anxiety: You may develop anxiety after experiencing an injury, or you may have anxiety relating to an activity. For example, if you experience a car accident, you may have anxiety related to driving or riding in a car. You could also develop anxiety because of physical injuries that resulted from the accident.
- Depression: Depression is very common after experiencing serious physical injuries. If you suffer from a catastrophic injury, such as an amputation, you may also suffer from depression as a direct result.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder(PTSD): After an injury or incident, you may experience PTSD or recurring trauma and could develop flashbacks of the experience.
What Should I Do If I Have Emotional and Psychological Injuries?
If you’re suffering from emotional or psychological pain after experiencing an accident or another traumatic event, you need to seek both legal and medical assistance.
Although emotional and psychological damages aren’t as apparent as physical injuries, you should still seek medical attention to address your injuries and start the healing process. Consider contacting a psychologist, psychiatrist, or another mental health professional.
Once you start receiving medical attention for your non-physical injuries, you need to keep track of your medical records, medical bills, and additional documentation related to your emotional and psychological distress. You should also keep a journal to keep track of your day-to-day physical, mental, and emotional health.
Additionally, you need to seek legal representation for your non-physical injuries. Unfortunately, insurance companies often refuse to pay for non-physical medical attention, such as counseling. You shouldn’t be forced to pay out of pocket for a medical condition that was caused by someone else’s negligence or deliberate wrongdoing. You need a personal injury lawyer to help you recover damages for emotional and psychological injuries.
Types of Emotional Distress Claims
There are two different types of emotional distress claims. These are intentional emotional distress and negligent emotional distress.
Negligent Emotional Distress
Negligent infliction of emotional distress refers to when someone’s negligent actions result in causing someone emotional distress. For example, if someone drives under the influence of alcohol and causes a traumatic accident, the victim could seek compensation for negligent emotional distress. The driver who caused the accident didn’t intentionally cause them emotional distress, but their negligence still resulted in the victim’s emotional and psychological injuries.
Intentional Emotional Distress
Intentional infliction of emotional distress occurs when someone purposely causes another person emotional distress. Also, if a person commits an action that they suspect will likely cause another person emotional distress, that may be considered intentional in court. For example, if a driver becomes involved in road rage and purposefully wrecks into another vehicle, that could be considered intentional infliction of emotional distress. They may not have purposefully caused emotional distress, but they had to have been aware that wrecking into them could cause emotional harm in addition to physical harm.
Behaviors that are considered to be intentional infliction of emotional distress are usually more extreme than negligent infliction of emotional distress.
Proving Emotional and Psychological Injuries
Unlike physical injuries, emotional and psychological injuries are sometimes challenging to prove because they lack physical evidence, such as a broken arm or amputated leg. If you file a claim for emotional distress, you need to be able to prove the following:
- The emotional or psychological injury needs to be continuous. For example, if you were only afraid to drive a car for a week after suffering from an accident, you likely won’t be able to receive compensation, but if you develop post-traumatic stress disorder from the incident, you could.
- The injury needs to be considered medically significant. Your condition needs to be severe enough to warrant the receipt of compensation.
- You need to be able to prove that the injury or incident in question led to your emotional or psychological injuries.
You can prove that you’re suffering from emotional distress by keeping up with medical records, medical bills, and your personal journal that records your physical, mental, emotional, or psychological health. Some medical records you should use in court include documentation related to prescriptions and visits to mental health professionals.
Additionally, you can use medical experts in your case to corroborate the fact that you could be suffering from emotional trauma from the incident or accident. You can also use testimonies from others who can attest to the fact that you were emotionally affected by the defendant’s negligence, including friends and co-workers.
To strengthen your case, you can prove that you’re suffering from physical effects resulting from your emotional injuries. For example, you may have difficulty eating, digesting, or you may suffer from headaches because of your emotional condition.
How Much Could I Receive for Emotional and Psychological Injuries?
The amount that you could recover for emotional and psychological injuries depends on the court and jury. Juries will take the following into consideration when determining the amount the defendant owes the victim:
- Medical costs, like doctors visits and prescriptions
- If the victim suffered from any permanent scarring or disfigurement
- The plaintiff’s physical injuries that could indicate that they’re suffering from emotional trauma, such as amputations
- The degree to which the victim’s physical and emotional injuries have impacted their day-to-day life
Another important factor that juries will take into consideration is not only the victim’s current expenses and pain and suffering but also the expenses and trauma they’ll have in the future. The victim may face permanent emotional injuries that prohibit them from earning a livable wage. Additionally, the victim’s injuries may permanently impact their quality of life.
After the jury evaluates the circumstances of the accident or deliberate wrongdoing, they will use one of two methods for calculating damages: the multiplier method and per diem.
The Multiplier Method
With the multiplier method, the court will take the total past, present, and future damages designed to compensate the victim for physical injuries. They then assign a number between 1.5 and 5 based on the seriousness of the emotional injury. That number is then multiplied by the total damages. For example, if the emotional injury was incredibly serious, the jury may assign it a five. If the damages related to the physical injuries were $20,000, the total damages would be $100,000.
Per diem calculates the damages based on the number of days that the victim suffers. The victim’s physical and emotional pain is rated between one and ten with ten being the most painful. That number is then multiplied by the number of days it takes the victim to recover. For example, if you suffered from soft tissue injuries that also caused emotional pain, your pain rating may be a six. If it took you six months to recover, the court would multiply 180 days by six, meaning you would receive $1,080 dollars for their emotional and psychological injuries.
Contact an Indianapolis Emotional and Psychological Injury Lawyers
If you’ve suffered from a car accident in Indianapolis that leaves you with emotional and psychological injuries, you shouldn’t have to pay out of pocket for medical bills, prescriptions, and other expenses. You need a seasoned personal injury attorney to help you hold the negligent party accountable. For personal injury legal representation in Indiana, contact the Indianapolis emotional and psychological injury lawyers at Crossen Law Firm at 317-7401-8626, or contact us online here.