Recovering Compensation for Emotional Distress After a Car Accident

Alex Curran
By Alex Curran
3 Min Read

We are all aware that the physical injuries sustained in a vehicle accident may be life-changing. Many people hurt in accidents require quick medical attention, and even after the initial crisis has passed, they may still be unable to function normally fully. However, what many fail to realize is that a vehicle accident may leave behind scars that go well beyond the physical. 

An automobile collision can have a significant impact on the victims. The law acknowledges this, and it’s why vehicle accident victims can sue if they cannot work due to disability. Consulting with disability lawyers would be best for such cases to receive compensation depending on the gravity of the accident. This law even acknowledges if they have been emotionally traumatized by the incident. One never really knows the psychological impact the casualty might have incurred on the victim. However, it can be tricky to figure out how much mental anguish you suffered and how to factor it into your vehicle accident claim.

Consult a Philadelphia, PA personal injury attorney who specializes in personal injury claims to get answers to your particular questions concerning the accident and your legal rights.

Damages for Emotional Distress Sustained in a Car Accident

Many people hurt in a vehicle crash also suffer from anxiety, sadness, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). All of these factors should be considered when calculating mental distress damages. Due to their incalculability, non-economic losses like emotional distress, pain, and suffering are differentiated from economic damages. Evidence of medical expenses incurred as a result of the accident can be used to calculate economic damages. However, such numbers can’t be used to calculate non-economic losses.

Damages for pain and suffering account for the distress a victim has as a direct result of their injuries. In addition to physical agony, injured persons often experience psychological discomfort due to their situation. Pain and suffering damages are separate from emotional distress damages, although this distinction is not always clear to the court. Damage claims for emotional distress are similar to those for physical pain and suffering. Still, pain and suffering specifically refer to a victim’s emotional misery due to physical harm. 

On the other hand, damage for mental anguish refers to trauma experienced before the onset of visible injuries. They are associated with the mental anguish of being involved in the accident rather than physical harm. This is why cases involving allegations of mental distress may be challenging to prove. They occur independently of the outward signs of trauma. You must speak with and get help from a mental health expert who can diagnose you with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, or whatever else may be causing your symptoms as a result of the event.

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