Mental Shock Law and Legal Definition

Mental shock refers to a shock caused by agitation of the mental senses that results in extreme grief or joy. For example, witnessing a horrible death of a family member, or winning a prize unexpectedly.

It was observed in Ellsworth v. Massacar, 215 Mich. 511 (Mich. 1921) that there can be no recovery for injuries resulting wholly from mental shock or fright not accompanied by any physical injury. Also, a plaintiff may not recover for mental shock or suffering to his wife.

If it appears that the natural tendency of a mental shock is to produce the character of injury charged and shown, it will be regarded in law as one which must have been foreseen. [St. Louis S. W. Co. v. Murdock, 54 Tex. Civ. App. 249 (Tex. Civ. App. 1909)]