Psychological Injury Lawyers: Your Mental Health Advocates

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While mental health concerns can have a clear impact on our general health and productivity, they’re often overlooked, met with significant skepticism, or dismissed. If you’ve suffered mental or emotional distress, it’s not just “in your head.” The trauma that’s happened to you is devastating, and beyond a confirmation of your feelings, you deserve to have your voice heard. A psychological injury lawyer can let you know more about your rights and how to recover the compensation you deserve so that you can take the steps to protect and preserve your mental health.

At Bergeron Clifford, we have extensive experience working with clients who’ve suffered psychological trauma, and we are here for you. Our legal team understands the hurdles you have to endure, and we want to ensure these injuries do not go unnoticed. We can connect you with an emotional distress lawyer who will take the time to understand your unique situation and treat you with absolute compassion and understanding as they decide on the next steps for your case.

Psychological and Mental Health Injuries

While physical assault and sexual abuse can have long-lasting effects on your mental health, studies have shown that emotional abuse is much more difficult to detect and can have the same, if not more severe impact on victims. This type of abuse may be common in romantic relationships, long-term care dynamics, in chaotic and/or dysfunctional family upbringings, or in the workplace when dealing with coworkers or superiors. The most common motivation for emotional abuse is to make the victim feel as though they aren’t in control or are constantly at fault, along with the emphasis to submit to their abuser’s demands.

These perpetrators also try to ruin victims’ sense of self-value, withhold opportunities, deflect blame for the abuse, and deny victims their right to recognition and attention. The abuse cycle is a pattern, something that can be identified in all abusive relationships, including what victims of domestic abuse experience. There may be a period of escalation followed by blaming and deflection before the abuser makes temporary amends and begins the cycle over again. This “calm before the storm” period instills a false sense of security and temporary comfort in the victim, which is used to reduce the chances of a person leaving the relationship or arrangement in question.

Other forms of emotional distress might accompany a physical event, such as an accident. If the nature of the accident is especially severe, a victim may suffer from anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and depression as they try to recover and return to a normal life. This can be particularly difficult if the incident occurred as a part of their everyday routine, such as a car accident on their daily commute. A victim may not feel safe driving, and just the thought of it could result in an extreme emotional response. If the event left the victim disfigured in some way, their self-confidence and esteem might be shattered. They may struggle to look at their wounds or reflection and might be unable to leave the house for fear of others seeing what happened to them.

Types of Mental Distress Lawsuits

Emotional distress comes in many forms, and it’s important for victims to not allow anyone to minimize what they’ve gone through. A psychological injury lawyer can help you file a lawsuit in Canada if you’ve experienced something that has resulted in mental disorders such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, conversion disorder, stress disorder, or substance abuse disorder. These conditions are just as serious as physical ones by permanently altering the lives of those they affect; however, the harm they cause is not immediately visible. Here are some of the types of lawsuits that an emotional distress lawyer can help with.

Workplace Harassment

If you’ve been mistreated due to your race, gender, religious beliefs, or sexual orientation, your employer can and should be held accountable. The impacts of workplace harassment can last for years, especially when victims don’t feel they can reach out for help or are led to believe that they are the problem.

Nursing Home Abuse

Nursing home abuse may be due to physical assault, neglect, verbal threats and/or harassment. Seniors who experience any kind of abuse while in a long-term care facility may feel anger, rage, anxiety or depression. It might seem increasingly difficult to share your story for fear of repercussions or skepticism. These victims deserve to receive compassionate care that addresses the psychological impact of their abuse.

Psychological Distress Due to Physical Trauma

Being in a severe car accident, a victim of a dog attack, or in a workplace accident that left you unable to return to your job are just some examples of physical events that can leave lasting psychological impacts. Victims often experience symptoms of anxiety or PTSD when encountering situations that remind them of the accident, and may lose their self-esteem when they can no longer do the things they were capable of prior to the event.

Understanding the Effects of Psychological Injuries

Treating physical injuries can be less complicated than managing the emotional impact of a traumatic event. Physical therapy and medical treatments can help many people return to normal lives following an injury, but emotional distress can be harder to diagnose, and may first manifest in different ways. You might feel isolated in what you’re experiencing, unable to communicate your emotions to others, which leaves you increasingly frustrated and abandoned.


Victims of psychological trauma often withdraw from things they enjoy and avoid other people. The Hikikomori phenomenon in Japan is a prime example of this in some cases. In these situations, people cannot leave their homes for months or even years due to acute social withdrawal. This can make feelings of depression and anxiety worse because victims turn away from the support system they need to be able to cope.


Some victims of a traumatic experience suffer from nightmares and/or a fight or flight response. This can occur when something reminds them of the event that changed their lives, resulting in hypervigilance, suicidal thoughts, or stress that never goes away. In some cases, the anxiety is so severe that victims may fear leaving home or visiting environments that remind them of their trauma.

Guilt and Shame

If you’ve suffered harassment, your abuser may try to shift the blame on you. Fundamentally, when going through the abuse cycle, it’s easy for victims to blame themselves and to feel guilty for speaking out. An emotional distress lawyer can help you confront your abuser while helping you realize that you have the right to be treated with respect and kindness.

Loss of Energy

One common symptom of depression is a feeling of intense fatigue. You may find it difficult to motivate yourself to get out of bed each day, and it could be hard to concentrate on your work and day-to-day tasks. As a result, you’ll feel considerably less engaged in life, perhaps overcome with feelings of sadness because you can’t do what you used to.

How to Prove Emotional Distress

A psychological injury lawyer may use your medical records, psychological evaluations, professional witnesses and your own testimony to prove that you’ve experienced emotional distress due to what you’ve experienced. If you’ve never had symptoms of a mental condition prior to an accident, workplace harassment or another form of emotional trauma, the onset of these traits can be connected with the event to prove your case. This can lead to a sense of emotional validation, something that those suffering from mental anguish due to traumatic events don’t always receive.

Emotional trauma can lead to physical symptoms as well. If you’re suffering from headaches, poor sleep patterns, sudden weight changes, and gastrointestinal issues, these can all be documented as a result of mental conditions. Ultimately, these can further help to prove your claim.

Retain a Psychological Injury Lawyer

Whether you’ve been in an accident, the victim of emotional abuse at work or in a long-term care facility, or are experiencing ongoing issues due to physical trauma, Bergeron Clifford can help. We are here to support you with your legal claim in every way possible. Contact us to learn more about your rights and schedule a consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer to discuss your case and get started on the road to reparation.

A Psychological Injury Case explained by Kanon Clifford

Picture this: a tough, rugged, red-blooded Ontario man. A labourer by trade who has worked with his hands all his life. Salt-of-the-earth and get ‘er done attitude.

One evening he is returning home from a job along the 401. The highway is busy. The sun is half-set in the distance. That kind of evening where it is too dark to see in the distance but too light that your car lights have not switched to low-beam. People are returning home after a long-day of work. Our man is traveling along at the speed of the cars in front of him when, without warning, an eighteen-wheeler cuts Infront of a Prius a few yards in front of him. The Prius tries to turn but hits the big-rig and then against another car that was following too close behind the Prius. The accident happens incredibly fast. Before the dust settles our man realized that a major high-way accident has occurred.

Physically he is okay. But has he exits from his car to help the fellow commuters’ vehicles, he sees the damage. Torn metal across the road. Flipped cars. Vehicles that that look like they have been to the junk yard littering the highway. As our man looks around, he sees bodies. He sees blood and he sees immense suffering.

Fast-forward a few months and now our man is not sleeping at night. He is feeling isolated and easily agitated. His family physician has said he has PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) but he does not understand how that plays out?

He never considered that his mind could be so injured. When he had physical injuries in the past, he was able to work through them. Now, with his mind, he struggles every day.

This is a real man who came to our firm wondering what changed in his body. We successfully represented him and were able to claim compensation to cover this psychological injury, his future treatments, and the impact this had on his work.

Every year new studies are found in medical journals highlighting just how serious psychological injuries can be on individuals. We now have more scientific and medical support to determine the impact and outlook psychological injuries have injured persons.

A psychological injury can be just as serious as a physical one. In fact, they can be even more impactful on your life because of how our brains our wired.

Our client was fully unaware that he could claim for psychological injuries before he spoke to us, he never considered that injuries to the mind where compensable. He thought he could out-work these injuries on his own, just like in the past, but they took their toll.

You might have a claim too. If you could speak with our client today, he would recommend the same – reach out to us to see if you have a psychological claim.

Contact Bergeron | Clifford LLP

If you have injured your back or neck, contact us at 866-384-5886 or fill out our online form. We represent clients throughout Eastern Ontario and can meet you at our offices in Kingston, Ottawa, Whitby, Carleton Place, Perth, at your home or hospital, or wherever is most convenient for you.

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