Strategies For Showing The Degree Of Emotional Injury In Court

When you fracture a limb, your doctor can take an x-ray and determine its severity. You can use the x-ray pictures in court to prove the seriousness of your physical injuries. What if you want to show the severity of your emotional injury and anxiety? Here are ways to show the degree of your emotional injuries in court:


The duration of your emotional pain is a good indicator of its severity. For example, if your anxiety lasts for a couple of months, then it's reasonable to conclude it's less severe than if it had lasted a year. This can easily be ascertained via your medical records. This is why it's advisable to file a claim when you have reached your maximum medical improvement (MMI), which is the point at which your doctor doesn't foresee further improvement. The time you take to reach MMI is a good indicator of the severity of your problem.

Related Physical Injury

In most cases, emotional pain manifests itself physically. For example, if you are stressed, you may be plagued by physical health issues, such as:

  • Headaches
  • High blood pressure
  • Amnesia (difficulty sleeping)
  • Chest pains

If you have any of these physical manifestations of stress, then their severity may indicate you are severely stressed. For example, if your amnesia has been linked to your emotional pain, then this pain is more severe if you can't fall to sleep at all as compared to if you can fall to sleep after tossing in bed for a couple of hours or so.

The Stressor

The cause or trigger of your emotional pain (the stressor) is also a good indicator of the level of stress you are feeling. There are several characteristics of the stressful factor that you can use to gauge the severity of your emotional pain. Here are two examples of these characteristics and how they affect your level of stress:

  • Duration – If your stress is triggered by physical injury, then the more time the injury takes to heal the more stressed you will be. For example, a fractured limb that takes ten months to heal may be more stressful than one that heals after three months since the former denies you use of the limb for a longer time than the latter.
  • The number of stressors – Imagine you have fractured your leg, lost your driving job, and can't afford to pay your mortgage anymore. That would be more stressful than if you have fractured a limb, but your employer has transferred you to a job you can do with a weak leg, and you can continue servicing your mortgage.

Proving the severity of emotional pain is not easy. You need the help of an experienced personal injury attorney and a medical expert (the latter to provide testimony) to get properly compensated for your pain.