Can I Recover Emotional Damages After an Injury in Minnesota?

April 27, 2022

After an injury from an accident in Minnesota, it is natural to feel stressed and overwhelmed. However, for some victims, emotional distress can be debilitating long after. Therefore, injury victims are entitled to recover emotional damages in many cases.  

What Are Common Emotional Damages Symptoms?

Emotional damages reimburse victims for the psychological pain and conditions they must endure due to a traumatic event that involved serious personal injury or property damage. The symptoms widely vary, but common ones include:

  • Appetite changes
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Trouble focusing on daily life
  • PTSD (i.e., severe anxiety, flashbacks, nightmares, and uncontrollable thoughts about the abuse)
  • Weight loss
  • Lack of energy
  • Memory issues
  • Aggression
  • Increased alcohol use
  • Loss of sexual desire
  • Sleep disturbances

Additionally, a variety of factors will be taken into account when calculating emotional damages, for example: 

  • Whether your daily life has been altered or limited, and how. 
  • How your relationships have been affected.
  • Whether you are able to sleep and if your lifestyle activities have changed.
  • Your expected length of recovery and whether you suffered permanent disabilities. 
  • Whether your life expectancy has potentially been shortened. 

Permanent injuries or those that significantly impact a victim’s daily life will often result in higher awards for emotional damages.  

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What Damages Can I Recover For PTSD After an Injury?

If you are suffering from PTSD or another psychological condition after an injury accident caused by another party’s negligence, you have the right to recover the following damages:

Medical Bills

Reimbursement for any current and future medical expenses related to treating your PTSD, such as therapy, prescription medications, transportation to and from appointments, etc.

Lost Income

If PTSD leaves you unable to work, you can recover compensation for your current and future lost wages. 

Pain and Suffering

Compensation for your suffering caused by PTSD. Since pain and suffering damages can be considered subjective losses, an insurance company or the court will take the following into account: 

  • Your age; 
  • The severity of the accident;
  • The extent to which PTSD impacts your life and future;
  • The number of expenses incurred as a result of suffering from PTSD;
  • Projected costs of future treatment;
  • Any physical symptoms caused;
  • The strength of evidence against the defendant (at-fault party); and, 
  • Their degree of negligence.

If you have a history of psychological conditions, an insurance company may argue that your condition was pre-existing and not caused by the car accident. However, even if you did have a pre-existing psychological condition, you are entitled to compensation if it was aggravated due to the injury accident. An attorney can help you fight for the financial recovery you deserve. 

How to Prove Emotional Damages After an Injury in Minnesota

Emotional damages can be challenging to prove, since there is rarely extensive documentation to establish financial losses that can be reimbursed. To increase your chances of success, you must treat your PTSD or other psychological condition caused by an accident just as you would a physical injury: 

  • Seek medical treatment immediately and continue any follow-up care recommended by your physician, psychologist, therapist, etc. Medical records and physician notes will be critical to verifying your suffering and the treatment you have received. 
  • Keep copies of any medical bills, a list of, or receipts for your prescribed medications.
  • Keep a daily journal of your symptoms and how your routine or activities are impacted, 
  • Gather records of missed work (if applicable). 
  • Statements or testimony from your attending physician or therapist and family or friends may be necessary. They can verify the extent of your emotional distress, how it impacts your life and the expected length of recovery. 

Working with a skilled Minnesota Personal Injury Lawyer can bring the resources necessary to gather the evidence you need and help you build a solid case.