It’s PTSD Awareness Month: Understanding Emotional Damages in Personal Injury Claims

Did you know that June is PTSD Awareness Month, and June 27th is PTSD Screening Day? If you know or suspect you have PTSD due to a personal injury accident, understanding the emotional damages you could claim for your PTSD is essential. When someone develops PTSD following a traumatic event, the emotional toll can be profound. In personal injury cases, emotional damages can acknowledge how deeply the trauma has affected the person’s life and compensate them accordingly. Here’s what you need to know about PTSD and emotional damages in personal injury claims.

What Is PTSD?

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that affects individuals who experience or witness traumatic events. These events can range from military combat and sexual or physical violence to natural disasters and severe accidents.

PTSD can develop in any person, regardless of age, and manifests through various symptoms that cause emotional distress long after the traumatic event occurs. Individuals might relive traumatic events through flashbacks or nightmares. They often feel sadness, fear, or anger and might even feel detached or estranged from other people. People with PTSD might also avoid situations that remind them of the traumatic experience and often have strong negative reactions to ordinary things, like loud noises. This can be overwhelming and disabling, severely affecting quality of life. PTSD patients often struggle with intense and unpredictable emotions, feel constantly on guard, and have difficulty sleeping or concentrating.

This condition is incredibly common. About six percent of the population will experience PTSD at some point in their lives, and roughly 12 million adults in the United States are living with PTSD during any given year. 

What Are Emotional Damages?

Emotional damages are a form of monetary compensation awarded to people who experience mental anguish or distress due to an injury or traumatic event. These damages cover the psychological impact of an event, such as anxiety, depression, fear, or a loss of enjoyment in daily activities, all of which are common symptoms of PTSD. 

The purpose of emotional damages is to acknowledge and provide relief for suffering that isn’t physically visible but significantly affects a person’s well-being and daily life. If you file a personal injury claim and prove that your emotional distress is directly linked to the injury accident, you could receive monetary compensation.

How Do You Calculate Emotional Damages?

Calculating emotional damages is not straightforward because it’s challenging to assign a monetary value to emotional distress. It involves assessing the psychological impact of an event on your life and finding a way to assign a specific dollar amount to that impact. Lawyers and courts look at several factors to determine appropriate amounts of emotional damages. These factors include the intensity and duration of the emotional distress, the physical manifestations of the distress, such as insomnia or anxiety, and how the distress has disrupted your daily life. They also consider the need for psychological treatment and its costs. Typically, testimonies from psychological experts and evidence of therapy or medication are essential in substantiating emotional distress claims and arriving at a compensation figure.

Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer in North Mississippi

Are you or someone you love dealing with emotional strain from a traumatic event that might have led to PTSD? At Chatham Gilder Howell Pittman, we understand the significant impact this can have on your life and are here to demand fair compensation on your behalf. Contact us today for a free initial consultation so we can listen to your story, discuss your case, and provide guidance on your next steps.

About the Author
Jefferson D. Gilder is a Partner at Chatham Gilder Howell Pittman and was admitted to the Mississippi and Tennessee Bars in 1990. Mr. Gilder is admitted to practice in all courts in Mississippi and Tennessee including Federal Court, the Fifth and Sixth Circuit Courts of Appeal, and the United States Supreme Court. Mr. Gilder's areas of practice include personal injury, criminal, medical malpractice, civil rights, and product liability. Mr. Gilder spent his first ten years as an attorney practicing with his father, Robert G. Gilder, at Gilder Law Firm in Southaven, Mississippi before forming Gilder, Howell & Assoc., P.A. with Jamie W. Howell, Jr. in June of 2000. This firm although as another legal entity has now combined their resources and experience with Chatham – Pittman, to form Chatham Gilder Howell Pittman. If you have any questions about this article, you can reach Jefferson through our contact page.