Definition of Mental Anguish
In a personal injury claim a claimant can be awarded compensation for mental anguish or suffering even if the claimant did not suffer physical injury. Mental anguish is distinguished from pain and suffering because it is the mental response to a physical trauma or event. Common types of mental anguish could include terror, shock, apprehension, confusion, humiliation, and sorrow.
There have been recent limitations on collecting compensation through a personal injury claim based solely on the claim of mental anguish. State laws vary, but some states have instituted a "zone of danger" test which allows for damages if the claimant can prove they were within a specified distance from the accident. Other states have implemented a "physical manifestation rule" which argues the plaintiff must experience some actual physical reaction such as depression, anxiety intense enough to cause ulcers, or loss of appetite and weight from the accident or injury. If you think you suffered personal injury due to the negligence of another person you can discuss your case with a personal injury lawyer.