Following a car accident, your physical injuries may be the tip of the iceberg. Many people find themselves dealing with immense emotional distress in addition to the physical challenges they faced after their accidents. You may have PTSD, increased anxiety, depression, or general emotional distress related to the incident and its aftermath.
Can you recover compensation for emotional distress after a car accident–and if so, how can you maximize your odds of recovering it?
Can You Recover Compensation for Emotional Distress After a Car Accident?
In many cases, you can recover compensation for emotional distress related to car accident injuries. Working with a lawyer, however, can be critical. A lawyer can help you break down the types of emotional distress for which you can pursue compensation and how much compensation you may deserve.
In order to determine whether you may have grounds to recover compensation for emotional distress, your lawyer will take a look at several key features. First, your lawyer will want to know how intense the emotional distress is, and how long it has lasted. Your lawyer may also ask for any evidence of bodily harm, including insomnia, slowed healing, ulcers, headaches, or other signs that the emotional distress has caused a serious impact on your body.
How Can You Prove that Emotional Distress Stems from a Car Accident?
Work with a lawyer to establish your right to compensation for emotional distress after a car accident. Your lawyer may suggest that you take these key steps to help protect yourself and increase your odds of getting compensation for the suffering you have faced.
1. Seek attention from a medical professional.
If you suffered physical injuries in your car accident, you would need to establish them by working with a medical professional. A doctor can help diagnose and treat serious signs of emotional trauma after a car accident, including PTSD, anxiety, and depression. A therapist can also provide a clear treatment plan that may make it easier for you to cope with those difficulties. Furthermore, a therapist can offer insight into the underlying cause of your emotional distress. You may need your therapist to certify that the emotional distress comes from the car accident and not from another source, from traumatic events in your past to other challenges you may have faced.
If you have physical symptoms related to your emotional distress, you may also need to seek attention from a doctor who can help with those physical symptoms. A prescription or treatment plan for those symptoms can help establish your right to a personal injury claim.
2. Document the impact your emotional distress has had on your life after your car accident.
Show clear evidence of how your emotional distress has impacted your life. Have you had trouble riding in a car since the accident? Driving past the site of the accident? In some cases, trauma and emotional distress may also creep into other areas of your life, making it difficult for you to engage in normal activities or causing you to be shorter than usual with friends and loved ones. Treatment, including therapy, may also take up time you would rather spend on other things.
3. Contact a lawyer.
Trying to prove emotional distress on your own can prove very complicated and difficult to manage. A lawyer, however, can help you put together a more effective claim that will better establish your right to compensation, including clear evidence of when your emotional distress occurred and how it has impacted your life following your accident. Furthermore, a lawyer can help you better understand your right to compensation for emotional distress and how it may impact the rest of your claim.
Your lawyer, in addition to the other driver’s insurance company, may also want to take a look at your past medical records. If, for example, you have shown signs of emotional distress, including PTSD or anxiety, in the past, you may need to show that the car accident significantly impacted your anxiety levels and has caused you to suffer more serious impact.
What Compensation Can You Recover for Emotional Distress?
Knowing how much compensation you can recover for emotional distress can make it easier to determine when you want to accept a settlement offer and when you may want to continue to fight for the compensation you may deserve, as well as helping you make future financial plans. Talk to a lawyer about your specific case, including whether claims for serious physical injuries may impact your ability to seek compensation for the emotional distress you may have suffered during your car accident.
Generally speaking, you can claim compensation for:
- Any medical expenses you faced due to emotional distress after a car accident. Medical expenses might include the cost of therapy, including hospitalization or inpatient treatment if needed, as well as the cost of any medications you needed to treat your illness.
- The cost of any wages lost because your emotional distress after a car accident prevented you from working: for example, if you usually drive in the course of your usual job duties, and your accident prevented you from working.
- The emotional distress you sustained, including overall pain and suffering.
Often, it can prove more difficult to calculate the pain and suffering that often goes along with substantial emotional distress after a car accident. However, a lawyer can work with you to ensure that all of your needs are taken into consideration and that you can ask for the support you deserve. Keep in mind that if you need to claim compensation for physical injuries, it can impact your ability to claim for emotional distress: you may have an easier time proving that your emotional distress stems from the car accident if you suffered serious physical injuries, but the limits of the insurance policy may determine how much compensation you can claim overall.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer for Help with Your Claim
If you need to claim compensation for emotional distress after a car accident, an experienced car accident lawyer can help. Contact Alvendia Kelly & Demarest at 504-200-0000 to learn more about your right to compensation after a car accident.