Getting a Money Recovery for Psychological Injuries (Part I)


Psychological injuries are often difficult to prove.  But a monetary recovery is possible.

Initially, it must be noted that juries and judges have a prejudice against claims of psychological injury for the following reasons:

  • Psychological injuries cannot proved objectively.  Unlike a fractured bone, which can be verified by an x-ray, psychological injuries may not be objectively proved.  Even where there are neuropsychological tests, the results may be open to interpretation and debate among experts.
  • The prejudice that injured people are phony.   There is a strong presumption that the injured person  is either making-up his injuries or grossly exaggerating them.  There is a strong presumption that an injured party is malingering. 
  • The prejudice against psychiatric injuries.  The general public still has a prejudice against psychological injuries, psychiatrists, and psychologists.  Many people feel that the injured person should just “buck-up” and move-on with his life.  This is especially so where the client’s bodily injuries are not catastrophic.

In order to prove psychological injuries, the client’s case must be strong medically.  In some instances we may forego the psychological injury if we feel that it would diminish the bodily injuries.  Generally, the client must have both bodily injuries along with the psychological injuries. 

A determination as to whether to claim and prove emotional injuries must be made case by case.

Sometimes, the client is reluctant to seek psychological or psychiatric treatment.  Often the family or attorney will have to intervene so that the client seeks treatment.

Future posts will discuss psychological injuries and our cases.

We have handled cases of psychological injury.  If you have been injured, please feel free to call me for a free consultation at 800-581-1434 or write to letters@seitelman.com.

Mark E. Seitelman, 4/7/10, www.seitelman.com.

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