Compensation For Mental Anguish – Personal Injuries
There is no definitive situation or action that can cause mental anguish or the occurrence of a mental health disorder. People with a history of mental health issues can be more susceptible but everyone reacts to experiences differently. This makes it challenging for the legal system to legislate such matters, but progress has been made in recent years to allow plaintiffs the right to sue for disruptions to the quality of their lives that is not caused by physical pain.
It is standard practice to diagnose physical injuries like a broken leg or concussion, and it is a more straightforward process to determine financial damages based on these types of injuries. Mental anguish is a broad term that covers any pain and suffering or mental disorder recognized by the psychiatric community. Most commonly, it refers to:
Consequences and Treatments
Mental anguish can impact one’s ability to live a meaningful life or fulfil the responsibilities of their occupation. It can affect their ability as a caregiver or parent, and negatively impact personal relationships and social lives. Being gripped by depression or anxiety can make it very difficult to function daily.
Unfortunately, there is no standard for treating mental health disorders. Each treatment is dependent on the patient, their personal history, their family history and the specific disorder. Regardless, most treatments require a substantial investment of time and money.
Proving Mental Anguish
Proving the severity of one’s depression or anxiety and to what extent it has impacted their ability to live and work is complicated. It is not like a physical injury where a broken leg will prevent a server from performing the duties of their job.
A motor vehicle accident could cause anxiety that would hinder someone from driving again. A dog bite could prevent the victim from walking through a park or visiting a friend’s home without severe anxiety. These instances and others convey how victims could respond emotionally to an experience that caused injury, either physical or psychological.
The burden falls on the plaintiff to prove the impairment and demonstrate the impact on one or more aspects of their life. To have the best chance at seeking damages for pain and suffering, a plaintiff should:
A plaintiff can sue on the grounds of mental anguish if:
Simply put, a plaintiff must prove that the defendant knew they were causing mental anguish, or that what they did was so severe that it was foreseeable that a recognized mental illness could reasonably emerge. In Ontario, mental anguish falls under the category of bodily damage. A plaintiff can seek damages through tort law
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health disorder that occurs after a person has experienced a traumatic and profound event. It is commonly diagnosed in soldiers, police officers, paramedics or victims of natural disasters, sexual assault or life-threatening situations.
The symptoms are anxiety, hyperarousal, flashbacks and depression. It can force those afflicted to withdraw from friends, family and work. Plaintiffs could seek damages for PTSD if diagnosed by a qualified mental health professional and it is believed that the defendant’s actions or negligence directly led to the disorder. In such cases medical evidence is vital.
Understand if You Have a Case
The personal injury lawyers at Mackesy Smye can help you seek damages for mental anguish caused by another party. We will work tirelessly and strategically to prepare your case and pursue a trial or settlement that will compensate you for any mental anguish you have wrongly suffered. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.
Book your no-obligation consultation to understand what compensation you may be entitled to due to mental anguish. Call 1-855-315-9837, or complete our secure online contact form today.
This legal article gives you all you need to know about finding a personal injury lawyer in Ontario. And tells you how to make sure you find the best lawyer for your case. We provide great resources to help you do your research too. You only get one shot at this, so we want you to do it right.Read Article
If you are using Airbnb to find accommodations, you need to understand what happens in the event of a slip, trip or fall. Read this post to learn more about the legal framework that Airbnb provides to its users, and where hosts and guests should exercise more caution.Read Article
If you have been injured in an extreme sporting activity in Ontario, but have signed an injury waiver you need to read this article to learn about risky activity waivers, and what legal options participants have in the event of an injury.Read Article
If you have suffered emotionally following a personal injury caused by another person, then you might have a case for compensation based on the psychological impact on your life. Read this article to learn more about psychological damages and to gauge where you might stand.Read Article
Have you been hurt in a motor vehicle accident and are seeking damages? Read this post to better understand how in Ontario, victims of motor vehicle accidents must determine who was legally responsible for any injuries or damages sustained.Read Article
Whether you are liable or seeking compensation for damages, a slip and fall case can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Know the law and costs of initiating a case, working with a Hamilton personal injury lawyer, and going to court to determine if a trial or settlement works best. Read this post to learn more.Read Article