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Ask a California Attorney: Is Emotional Trauma a Type of Personal Injury?

Emotional trauma

When people think of personal injuries, they think of afflictions such as broken bones, concussions, and other physical ailments. However, many accidents also have an emotional impact on victims and symptoms could manifest themselves in various debilitating ways. For example, a victim of a car crash might feel uncomfortable around cars, and their fear of being in another crash could cause enough anxiety that it impacts their ability to work.

This is why, in the state of California, emotional trauma and distress qualify as a type of personal injury. The law recognizes two types of damages that involve emotional distress, which is categorized as either general emotional distress or severe emotional distress.

General Emotional Distress

California defines general emotional distress as any type of emotional distress that has resulted directly from the accident or trauma itself, or any associated physical pain.  In terms of personal injury law, general emotional distress falls under the umbrella of pain and suffering damages.

Severe Emotional Distress

Severe emotional distress varies in that it describes emotional trauma or distress that is not necessarily related to physical pain. For example, any condition that requires the assistance of a mental health counselor would fall under this category, allowing for a claim of severe emotional distress.

Consult with a Skilled Personal Injury Attorney

Unlike general emotional distress, severe emotional distress is often overlooked by healthcare professionals and insurance companies alike. This is why it is critical that victims seek out the evaluation of a qualified personal injury attorney, someone who can help ensure that they recover as many damages as they are entitled to.

If you want to learn more, or to schedule a free initial consultation with a skilled California personal injury attorney, know that we are here to help. Call us at the Law Offices of Dean Petrulakis today.