Can I Sue for Emotional Distress from a Car Accident?


Not all car accident injuries are physical. Many victims are known to suffer from emotional and psychological effects far after the accident has passed. Even those who were not involved in the incident can be emotionally impacted.

For example, if you watched a loved one sustain severe injuries or even lose their life in an auto collision, you may be changed forever. These emotions and experiences should not be taken lightly and deserve the same legal attention as physical injuries. If you have been experiencing emotional distress after a car accident, you are entitled to pursue legal action.

Types of Claims Victims Can Make After Car Accidents

Emotional distress is one of the many types of claims that car accident victims can make in the aftermath of their crash. If the negligent party harmed you in any way, they should be held accountable whether those impacts were physical or mental. 

Just like physical injuries, emotional pain can have devastating effects on people’s lives. For instance, you may be unable to interact with vehicles in the way you once were, either as a passenger or a driver. Such impacts can drastically alter your life both temporarily and chronically. In either case, you must not allow the negligent party to hurt you so profoundly without repercussions. 

Not only should they be legally held responsible, but they are also expected to provide the funds necessary to assist you in gaining access to the required psychiatric treatment. Many of the claims listed below require compensation as well due to the overwhelming financial impacts they cause:

  • Pain and suffering. This is the most common claim for cases of emotional damage. Any lasting effects of excessive fear, depression, or similar conditions can be addressed by this type of claim. 
  • Loss of consortium. If your loved one was injured in a way that has severely or irrevocably harmed your relationship, you could seek compensation for these damages.
  • Loss of wages. It is highly likely that you will have to take a few days off of work to attend psychiatric appointments as you recover from your accident. The negligent driver, not you, should be responsible for covering these expenses.
  • Lost earning capacity. Car accidents can lead to some severe mental health conditions that may cause symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), increased anxiety, and even suicidal thoughts. If these symptoms are triggered by vehicles or loud noises, you might struggle to get to work or to perform your job normally. It is the negligent driver’s responsibility to cover the financial loss imposed by your reduced ability to work.

Hire Legal Assistance for Your Emotional Distress Claim

One or more of the above circumstances may apply to you. If you are unsure of what type of claim to make in your lawsuit, you should hire a car accident lawyer. These lawyers are aware of how difficult it may be for you to explain your experience in the aftermath of a crash. 

They will assist you in accurately representing the damages incurred by informing you of the exact documentation needed to build a successful case in your favor. Reach out to a car accident lawyer today to get the help you need to experience peace once again.

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