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Boston Personal Injury Attorney > Blog > Personal Injury > Problems In Proving Emotional And Mental Trauma

Problems In Proving Emotional And Mental Trauma


There is an inherent contradiction when it comes to injuries in a personal injury case.

On the one hand, emotional trauma can be the most devastating effect of an accident. The consequences on your life that result from depression, anxiety, PTSD, or lack of focus or concentration can both alter our lives, as well as our professions or our ability to do our jobs.

But on the other hand, emotional or mental trauma is often looked at with suspicion by many jurors, who may see these kinds of injuries as being “real,” or at least, not as serious as physical injuries such as broken bones.

Proof Difficulties

That raises the question of how an injury victim can prove that he or she has actually suffered emotional trauma. How does a victim show the jury what the victim has or is going through?

It is particularly difficult because unlike many physical injuries, which can be shown through the use of MRIs or X-Rays or scans, there is no scan for depression or anxiety. In a world where humans often rely on what they can see, jurors don’t have the ability to see the most devastating effects of an accident.

Doctors and Medical Treatment

One way that a victim can demonstrate emotional or mental trauma, is by seeing doctors. The doctor can be someone specially trained to handle emotional trauma, like a psychiatrist or mental health counselor, but even telling your primary care physician about your non-physical injuries can be helpful in documenting what you are going through.

Regular visits to your doctor can create a long term picture for a jury about what you have endured, and how well you have or have not healed.

Those Around You

Testimony of family, friends, and even your own testimony, can be vital in proving emotional trauma. They can often spot changes that you can’t even see yourself. They can create a “before and after” picture for the jury, and explain to the jury how your mood and affect have changed since the accident.

Your testimony matters as well, and this can be a hurdle, especially for those who want to seem “tough.” Yes, it is good to try to tough things out, and it is good to fight to get through whatever you are dealing with. Strength and perseverance will go a long way in your recovery.

But that doesn’t mean that you should purposely underplay your emotional difficulties; this is your chance to tell a jury what you went through and there are no points–and more importantly, no compensation–for being “brave.”

Multiple Causes

Remember that your emotional or mental difficulties don’t just stem from trauma related to the accident, but they can also be side effects from medications that you may be taking as a result of your injuries as well.

Additionally, keep in mind that you do not have to have any trauma to your head or to have blacked out, or be diagnosed with a concussion, to have emotional or mental injuries, although of course trauma to the brain can also cause long term changes in your ability to cognitively function.

We can explain how you can recover compensation for your injuries.  Call the Boston personal injury lawyers at The Law Office of Joseph Linnehan, Jr. today at 617-275-4200




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