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Emotional Trauma After a Car Accident

A car accident can be a traumatic event. It affects your physical health and your emotional well-being.

Car accident victims often focus on their physical injuries. These could include broken bones or head trauma. But the emotional trauma following a car crash can be equally, if not more, debilitating.

This article dives into the complexities of emotional distress after an auto accident. The article also explores how emotional distress may influence a personal injury claim.

Emotional Distress Post-Accident

Emotional distress is an umbrella term that includes conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and panic attacks. Emotional distress often happens following an auto accident. Flashbacks of the accident, anxiety about riding in a vehicle, and mental anguish can become part of daily living.

Other symptoms of emotional distress may include:

  • Sleep disorders
  • Mood swings
  • Irrational fears

Some people experience a decrease in their quality of life and enjoyment of life due to these mental health issues.

The ripple effects can extend to family members as well. Seeing a loved one in distress can lead to emotional trauma for those close to the accident victim. This is especially true if the accident resulted in serious injuries or the loss of a loved one. A person closely related to an accident victim, such as a parent, spouse, or child, can include emotional distress as part of their wrongful death claim. The plaintiff must prove emotional distress, and it must be a direct result of the wrongful death of the loved one.

Can I Sue for Emotional Distress in a Personal Injury Case?

In a personal injury case arising from a car accident, emotional distress damages are a component of the non-economic damages a victim can claim. Non-economic damages include the emotional pain and suffering a victim experiences as a result of the accident. This is distinct from medical bills or loss of earnings that qualify as economic damages. An emotional distress claim is an attempt to monetize the intangible harm done to you as an accident victim.

Physical pain and emotional distress often intertwine. They both stem from the traumatic event and affect the victim's ability to function in their daily life. Medical records from mental health professionals can provide valuable evidence of emotional injuries. But, since emotional distress is not as visible or quantifiable as physical injuries, insurance companies often undervalue this aspect of a personal injury claim.

To make a successful claim for emotional distress, you must prove that the distress you suffered was more than minor and fleeting. You must show that your distress has significantly affected your life. Also, you must provide evidence. This may include:

  • Testimony from mental health professionals who have treated you
  • Your testimony
  • Testimony of friends and family members

Remember that each state may have different laws and standards for awarding emotional distress damages. Some states might require that a physical injury must go with emotional distress. Others may allow for standalone claims of emotional distress.

Seeking Legal Advice for Emotional Trauma Claims

If you're facing emotional trauma after a car accident, consulting with a car accident lawyer can help. A car accident attorney can guide you through suing the at-fault party, ensuring that all your damages, including those for emotional distress, are accounted for in your car accident claims. Whether it's a car, truck, or motor vehicle accident, help is available.

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