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Mental Anguish

Definition - What does Mental Anguish mean?

Mental anguish refers to a portion of non-economic damages that a person can receive in different civil cases such as medical malpractice, personal injury, and, less frequently, defamation. Mental anguish is generally defined as a specific type of suffering that an individual obtains as a result of another person that causes different mental issues such as anxiety, grief, distress, depression, fright, or trauma. Most U.S. jurisdictions allow a plaintiff to recover damages for mental anguish. However, some of these jurisdictions place a cap on how much a person can receive under economic damages.

Justipedia explains Mental Anguish

There are many different scenarios that would entitle a person to receive mental anguish damages. A few examples of what may be considered to have caused mental anguish include a threat of physical harm to an individual if it appears that it could readily be carried out, putting a firearm to an individual’s head, pointing a knife or other sharp object at an individual or swinging that knife at an individual, or observing the injury or death of a spouse, family member, or friend. In order to establish that a person is suffering from mental anguish, the individual must prove that he or she is suffering from a severe amount of mental distress and/or pain.

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