How psychological records are used as evidence in a Texas personal injury case.
It's not just bones that get broken in personal injury cases. People experience deep emotional trauma after such a catastrophic event, and it can impact their home-life, work, and relationships. Further, serious accidents can leave lasting brain damage that will alter victims' lives forever.
In this article, we discuss how psychological records can and should be employed by your attorney at trial to make sure that you are awarded all the compensation that you are entitled to, and nothing less
Questions Answered on This Page:
- How are psychological records used in a Texas personal injury case?
- How do I prove my mental damages under Texas law?
- How are psychological records admitted into evidence?
Psychological records can establish the true extent of your pain and suffering
In the many years we've been honored to help victims of serious accident, one thing has remained constant: the mental toll accidents place on victims. Even the toughest men and women experience anxiety, fear, and concern about their future. Many victims can deal with these problems by talking to friends, family, and clergy such that after a period of time, the worst is over. We've seen clients cope by throwing themselves into work, a new project, or a new hobby. These people, however, are the lucky ones.
Others require professional help. This is especially true in cases where victims have lost loved ones and now face a tragically different future from what they'd only a short time prior envisioned their lives. Grief, terror, and worry can become so much that they make the right decision and seek counseling. We've seen far too many who needed help try to forge through on their own, only to make things worse. We greatly admire those who make a positive step and go see a psychologist or psychiatrist to move forward.
How do the actual records impact your case? Much like medical records, jurors need hard data about exactly what's happened to you. Further, psychological damage is hard for even the person suffering it to fully articulate. That's why using records can show the real degree of mental suffering you've endured. When a professional assess that you've developed recognized mental conditions, the jury will know that you're not simply feeling a little down or somewhat off, but your problems are serious.
Mental health records are necessary to prove brain damage
In serious accidents, you or a loved one might have endured what's called a "traumatic brain injury." These injuries involve impacts to the brain that go way beyond your average concussion. Instead, the damage is such that the brain can never likely repair itself. Victims are left with diminished cognitive functions with symptoms ranging all over the map, including:
- Inability to care for oneself
- Severe depression
- Memory loss
- Loss of normal bodily functions
- Tremors and shakes
- Loss of sexual function
What's vitally important for victims and their loved ones to understand about mental health records, and how they're used in court for cases like the above: the plaintiff has the burden of proving that the accident itself caused these problems. This is not simple.
An expert will be needed to explain how MRIs and brain scans show that THIS part of the brain is altered, and how THAT symptom connects directly to it. Without adequate medical records, the best lawyer and the sharpest experts cannot adequately explain to a jury how the accident is responsible for the symptoms.
Psychological records are not simply admitted into evidence
Courts have extremely specific rules about letting evidence go before a jury at all. Your attorney must convince a judge---usually over a defense lawyer's objection---that these records and how they are presented to the court comport with the rules. Great cases are lost when attorneys don't do this correctly. Don't risk your claim on an attorney without the experience required to make sure your case is done correctly.
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