How Can I Prove Mental Anguish After an Auto Accident?

Mental Anguish after an accident in Texas

The visible injuries from an auto accident are usually the most obvious ones, but the mental anguish and psychological suffering often last a lot longer.

In Texas, if you suffer an injury in an auto accident that was mainly the fault of a third party, you can seek compensation not only for your out-of-pocket medical expenses, damage to your vehicle and pain you suffered, but for psychological anguish too.

Claiming what you deserve can be challenging, though. Insurance companies frequently dig their heels in and downplay mental anguish because claims can be considerable. You generally need to present irrefutable evidence of mental anguish that forces them to pay up.

At the DeHoyos Law Firm, PLLC, we will gather the necessary evidence, build your case, file the lawsuit, and manage the communications with the insurance company while you focus on recovery from your injuries.

Table of Contents

What is considered mental anguish in Texas?

Mental Anguish after an Accident in Houston TexasIn Texas, psychological pain is called mental anguish and it is treated as a separate issue from physical pain.

Mental anguish includes the injuries that nobody sees, except those living with you and who you are closest to.

While insurance company loss adjusters frequently attempt to trivialize the impact of mental anguish, its effects are real, can be long-lasting, and may warrant significant compensation.

Most people are familiar with the term post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It is often used in military terms after soldiers return from battle.

A serious car accident can trigger similar psychological reactions in people, causing serious issues with sleep, maintaining work, and carrying out everyday duties. It may reduce the ability to function as before the accident. In short, the negative effects on the victim’s psychological wellbeing and quality of life can last long after the physical injuries have healed.

In Texas, you are within your rights to claim compensation for such psychological injuries after a car or truck accident.

Unfortunately, receiving what you deserve for your mental anguish is rarely straightforward. There are no x-rays, no physical wounds, and no photographs to demonstrate the serious psychological effects of the accident.

You will need to demonstrate to the court that your anguish extends beyond the normal worry, disappointment, resentment, embarrassment, anger, or other emotions that are considered “normal” after the trauma of an auto accident.

Insurance companies and even jurors may be skeptical of your mental injuries – especially if your physical injuries were relatively slight.

How can you prove mental anguish after an accident in Texas?

Many attorneys in Texas will only accept personal injury cases involving mental anguish claims if there is also physical pain and an injury resulting from the auto accident.

This is mainly because of Texas laws (outlined below) that make it difficult to win compensation for mental anguish without the presence of a physical injury. Proving that mental anguish is a direct result of an injury is considerably less challenging than if there is no physical injury.

For instance, it is not difficult to envisage how an eye injury that causes temporary or permanent blindness could also cause mental anguish.

However, mental anguish injuries are often challenging to prove unless you can demonstrate a clear consequence for the victim’s life – like the inability to work or the loss of consortium (sexual relations or normal family relationships).

Generally, to prove mental anguish in a Texas court, your lawyer will rely on the following evidence:

  • Personal testimony
  • Expert testimony e.g., from a psychologist
  • Your medical records e.g., evidence of psychological or psychiatric treatment for depression, anxiety, PTSD, etc.
  • Documented evidence that demonstrates how the injury has affected daily life


Texas law regarding mental anguish

Under Texas law, you can claim for mental anguish separately from physical injury and pain. As explained already, your claim depends largely on whether the mental anguish is accompanied by physical injury.

  • If there is a physical injury, mental anguish damages will generally be considered by the Texas courts.
  • If there is no physical injury, you may be able to claim mental anguish if there was intentional or malicious conduct, a breach of a duty involving a special relationship, or particularly disturbing events surrounding the incident.

With auto accidents, as you can see, it is almost impossible to claim for damages without physical injury because few accidents meet the criteria except in a case where “particularly disturbing events” occurred. An example might be a bystander or pedestrian being injured by a drunk driver but cases like this are rare.

How are damages calculated for mental anguish?

There is no formula for calculating mental anguish in Texas.

Insurance adjusters usually offer little in this respect and, if the case goes to court, a judge will consider the evidence provided and may or may not award damages.

If a persuasive case is made for compensation for mental anguish, damages will be calculated based on how significantly you were affected mentally from your injuries and the precise circumstances.

This often requires strong external evidence from experts and careful presentation of medical records – elements of a case that personal injury lawyer, Ryan DeHoyos, is well-accustomed to presenting to judges in the Houston area.

Get help with a mental anguish claim in Houston…

Few personal injury cases are straightforward and mental anguish claims are amongst the most challenging.

With experienced guidance from Ryan DeHoyos, we can determine whether you have a valid case under Texas law. If so, we will help you understand the legal processes and build a case to maximize your claim.

Call DeHoyos Law Firm, PLLC at (832) 745-4878 or contact us online for a free consultation.

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Cierra Mcclain
Cierra Mcclain
14:44 25 Aug 21
They are a great law firm. Ryan did not only kept me informed about what was going on, he also made me feel valued the... entire process. I would most definitely use them more
Xochitl Flores
Xochitl Flores
20:11 05 Aug 21
Grateful Dehoyos helped with my case. Always there to answer any questions and very appreciative that he took care of... what was important to more
Arturo Paredes
Arturo Paredes
19:48 09 Jul 21
Great experience! Thank you DeHoyos for being there to help me and my family with everything. I recommend this firm for... any legal services in the personal injury world. The staff was very nice and helpful and very responsive throughout my more
Courtney Kehler
Courtney Kehler
19:35 25 Jun 21
Upfront and honest. I look forward to continuing working with them. Update! Took 3 years to sort out the mess that is... insurance. I absolutely could not have done this without Ryan as he made it absolutely painless. I never had to deal with creditors or the insurance!! Will be using him for any other legal more
xavier wheeler
xavier wheeler
21:40 21 May 21
This was honestly the most professional experience I’ve had with a law office. They were very understanding,... responsive, and always kept me in the Loop about what was going on with my case. Ryan is not a dream seller. He keeps it realistic and will be straight up and honest on what he can and can’t do. He and his assistant Ashley are a great team and if i ever got in to a situation like this again he is my go to more
cassandra barker
cassandra barker
13:10 21 May 21
Im so thankful i went through with DeHoyos Law firm, i was in a horrible car accident almost a year ago, never have i... been in something like this. thankfully to DeHoyos everything came out perfect! more than what i expected would, i also thought cases like this wasn't anything but with them my case was well taken cared of, put all his attention into it and made sure i was taken care of the right more
23:05 14 May 21
After my hit and run I was referred to Mr. DeHoyos, and at first I didn't want to hire a lawyer to go up against my own... insurance. After some family convincing and research on Mr. DeHoyos I made the call. I am glad that I did. His office staff and himself were wonderful. They took care of everything from the start. Any time I had a question either his staff or himself reached out to me. I never had to wait long to have any questions answered. At one point there was an issue with an appointment and Mr. DeHoyos tried to rectify the problem himself. When I had the pleasure of speaking with him, he never made it sound like I was an inconvenience to him. They kept me well informed of the next step in the process as we went along. In the end I got more than I expected in my pocket! I can't thank him or his office staff enough for everything they did for me. In one of the worst times I've had his staff and himself were there for more
S t
S t
17:03 07 May 21
I am extremely grateful for this firm's tireless pursuit for justice in my case. They were responsive to all of my... questions and concerns. They provided updates in a timely fashion and I always knew the next step in the process. This firm really takes the time to hear your story and ensure that you receive justice for injuries forced upon you due to the carelessness of someone else. I highly recommend this firm for anyone who has been hurt in an accident. They are definitely different than other personal injury more
Greg Adams
Greg Adams
16:13 09 Apr 21
Very professional and excellent at letting me know what to expect. Ryan helped me when no one else would and the... insurance company was trying to take advantage of me. I highly recommend Ryan and his more
Jerimy Robinson
Jerimy Robinson
19:13 02 Apr 21
Ryan and his staff were very professional and personable. They resolved my accident case to the best possible outcome.... Would highly more
david walker
david walker
19:54 27 Mar 21
My case was fairly simple, but made even easier to deal with by the fact that everything was taken care of over the... phone and through text.This was a huge help considering I live 45 minutes away from his office, everything I wanted out of the case was achieved as then some.Cannot recommend this firm more!read more
Sonia Castro
Sonia Castro
15:12 26 Mar 21
Ryan and his team were very informative and responsive. They did a great job on our case. Ryan is very accessible and... easy to talk to. I would definitely recommend DeHoyos Law if you are injured in a car wreck. These guys set a new standard for accident more
Sanetra Jones
Sanetra Jones
03:37 09 Jan 21
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L. Minor
L. Minor
15:53 01 Jan 21
My experience with DeHoyos Law firm was a great one. Ryan was already highly recommended by a family member. Sure... enough, this law firm delivered again. Ryan was good to us, and made himself available to us whenever we had any questions. I felt very comfortable with him handling my case. He always kept me in the loop and made sure I understood everything that was going on. His staff is remarkable. Ms Ashley is such a beautiful person. To DeHoyos law firm and staff, Thank you very much for this experience. Hope this year brings you love, joy, and more
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