Mental anguish is the sadness that we go through because we are part of a personal injury case. This includes the sadness over the change in your life or the life of your loved one. Although many people lump mental anguish together with pain and suffering or physical pain, Texas says these are two separate elements of damages.
Elements of Mental Anguish Damages
Proving and recovering mental anguish damages is tough in Texas. Juries are conservative when it comes to damages that they can’t see (for example medical bills). As a result, insurance adjusters don’t offer a lot for mental anguish. Usually, the proof required is more than a plaintiff simply saying they are sad. Witnesses and doctors can help bolster this claim and make it more likely that you will recover here.
Courts in Texas have said you must have a high degree of mental anguish to recover. In Texas, mental anguish is more than mere disappointment, resentment, embarrassment, or anger. Things such as grief, severe disappointment, public humiliation, despair, and shame are what Texas courts look for. People with mental anguish based on sleeplessness, ulcers, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, fear, and anxiety can be proof of mental anguish.
Mental Anguish without Physical Harm
Typically you must have a physical injury to collect mental anguish damages. Texas allows recovery of mental anguish without physical injury ONLY in the following circumstances: 1) bystander cases; 2) intentional tort – child abduction; 3) defamation; 4) invasion of privacy; 5) telegraph co. failing to deliver a death message promptly; and 6) mishandling a corpse.
Unless you are bringing one of these cases, you need to have a physical injury to make a successful claim for mental anguish. Another arena where you cannot seek mental anguish damages include:
- damage to property
- loss of parental consortium
- the death of a fetus
- adulterous relationships
- legal malpractice
Although it is counterintuitive, when there is a negligent injury to a child, a parent cannot recover.
When Making a Mental Anguish Damage Claim, you need an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer
There is no set formula for mental anguish damages. There is no way to calculate this element of damage. It is purely subjective. Also, the proof required here is more than worry or this event was “upsetting.”
If you feel you have a mental anguish claim after a personal injury accident, contact Chelsie King Garza. She can help you recover the full extent of your damages.