If you have been involved in a serious accident in the Fort Worth area such as a traffic collision involving a semi-truck, wrecking riding your motorcycle, or as the victim of a vicious dog attack, there is a very good chance that you have suffered psychologically and/or emotionally as a result. Compensation for your mental suffering is available to you under Texas law, however, you cannot make a claim based on psychological injuries alone. Your emotional and other mental damages can certainly factor in to the total amount of compensation available to you, but in order to bring a personal injury claim in Texas you must have also suffered physical injuries.
What is “Compensation”?
“Compensation” is a word you have probably heard in the following situations:
- Person 1 has to pay back Person 2 for something Person 2 paid for
- Person 1 has wronged Person 2 and needs to pay for Person 2’s damages
Essentially, compensation is used to describe damages paid to someone who has been wronged by another individual, and the damages are usually given in the form of money. For example, if Davie was in a car accident that was caused by Susy, and Davie suffered injuries that require medical attention (which equals medical bills), then Susy would be “liable” - another term for “responsible” - for paying for Davie’s accident-related expenses. However, Susy would not be the person that pays for Davie’s expenses; it would Susy’s insurance company.
Injured victims of a car accident are entitled to receive compensation for the expenses that have been generated as a result of the car accident, including:
- Medical bills
- Property damage
- Lost wages (as a result of being out of work due to an injury)
- Pain and suffering
- Future accident-related expenses
However, something that most people are not aware that can be covered is emotional injuries. Emotional injuries are those that were caused as a result of a car accident. These types of injuries, although they may not be as visible as physical injuries, are important nonetheless. Different types of emotional injuries that victims of car accidents have experienced include:
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Fear of driving
(There is a more detailed list in the following section).
All of these emotional problems must be dealt with seriousness, and it is a very important issue that is not taken lightly. For this reason, if a client of ours has experienced emotional injuries in addition to personal injuries, we include the types of emotional distress felt in the demand. This provides added compensation (and a larger settlement amount) to their case. For the most part, auto insurance companies do not provide compensation for emotional injuries to the injured victim; in fact, they may even argue that the emotional injuries are not real! If you have experienced emotional injuries, you do not have to comply with what the insurance company is offering you; may be entitled to receive compensation for it!
Different Types of Emotional Injuries
As a board certified personal injury lawyer, I have seen firsthand the mental suffering inflicted on innocent victims of drunk drivers, negligent trucking companies and the like. People suffer every day due to the negligence of other people. Many times, victims here in North Texas try to “tough it out” – just as many do with regards to their physical injuries, but it is important to realize that if you have suffered psychological damages, you should seek the proper professional care to deal with them. Likewise, you should not be fearful about pursuing compensation for your mental suffering in addition to other damages available to you, such as reimbursement for your medical bills and lost income, and other intangible damages such as compensation for your physical pain, disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life, etc.
There are many ways in which being injured in a catastrophic car crash or other accident can take a psychological toll on a person. In many cases, injury victims develop deep-set fears strongly related to their specific accident type, such as cynophobia among dog bite victims or fearing driving after a serious auto accident. While the following list is by no means complete, here are some of the more common types of mental, emotional and psychological trauma I have encountered in accident victims throughout my career as a Fort Worth personal injury attorney:
- Emotional distress
- Suicidal thoughts
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Lowered self-esteem
- Survivor’s guilt
- Emotional numbness
- Constantly feel unsafe
- Feelings of neglect
- Mood swings
- Difficulty concentrating
- Loss of motivation
- Spiritual confusion
A Fort Worth Lawyer Can Help You Get the Compensation You Deserve
While it is important that you take the time to heal from your physical and emotional injuries at your own pace, it is also important to be aware that there is a very strict statute of limitations in Texas which is exactly two years from the date of your accident. It is critical therefore that you hire an attorney to represent you well in advance of this deadline.
Contact the Anderson Law Firm today for a confidential, free, and no obligation consultation with a board certified Fort Worth personal injury and wrongful death attorney. Rest assured that we will represent your case with the utmost respect and dignity. Don’t hesitate in calling us, we are more than happy to help!