dealing with ptsd after an accident

How To Prove Emotional Distress And Claim Compensation

If you’ve been in an accident, you may experience symptoms of PTSD or emotional issues arising from your physical injuries and rehabilitation. Although emotional distress resulting from an accident is more difficult to quantify than physical injuries, it’s nonetheless a legitimate consideration under the law.

An emotional distress claim requires documentation of symptoms and professional confirmation of their connection to the accident. Here’s a guide to help you build a credible claim for emotional distress.


Pecuniary vs Non-pecuniary Damages

Ontario law distinguishes between pecuniary and non-pecuniary damages. Lost wages and medical expenses are considered pecuniary because you can calculate their financial value. Emotional distress falls within the scope of pain and suffering, a form of non-pecuniary damages. Under the law, claimants who experience non-pecuniary damages like emotional distress are entitled to compensation.


Symptoms of Emotional Distress

Despite the subjectivity in defining emotional distress, Ontario law breaks it down to one or several of the following conditions: sleep difficulties, anxiety or fear, aggressiveness or mood swings, compulsive behaviours, memory problems, lack of energy or sexual desire, weight loss or gain, crying, depression and loss of interest in social activities.


The law doesn’t acknowledge physical pain traced to emotional causes within a claim. For example, tension headaches aren’t recognized as emotional distress.


Proof of Emotional Distress

Your claim must establish your emotional distress results directly from a physical injury caused by someone else’s negligence. You’ll need psychological assessments, as well as medical records of your physical injuries demonstrating their emotional impact.


When seeking a medical opinion to prove emotional distress, see a doctor who’s familiar with such conditions. Beyond simply giving you a positive diagnosis, they should articulate details related to the condition’s severity and its potential to impair your life, as well as your prospects for recovery. 


Building a Credible Case

Add credibility to your legal case by keeping a journal of your emotional experiences after the accident. This record will aid in medical diagnosis and demonstrate the distress is ongoing and impacts your daily life. It can also show a correlation between your physical injuries and psychological symptoms. 


If you have a pre-existing condition like depression, you may have difficulty linking your symptoms directly to the accident. Although this may give an insurer cause to deny your claim, a personal injury lawyer can navigate the complexities and may get you a better settlement.  


Personal Injury Lawyers in Sault Ste. Marie & Surrounding District of Algoma

If your accident has left you dealing with emotional or psychological challenges, trust the personal injury lawyers at Feifel Gualazzi to help you build a compelling claim for emotional distress. Contact us to talk to an accident specialist today.