No one expects to be involved in an accident, but when they do happen, the aftermath can be emotionally and physically trying. Many people don’t realize that they may be able to file a claim for damages beyond just the physical injuries sustained in an accident.
Emotional anguish is a real and recognized form of damage that can often be compensated for after an accident. If you’re struggling with anxiety, depression, or other emotional issues following an accident, you may be eligible to receive compensation.
As New Haven personal injury lawyers, we can attest to the fact that few people are prepared to deal with emotional anguish. Every day, we get plenty of questions from suffering clients. Read on to learn more about emotional anguish damages and how to file a claim.
What Is Emotional Anguish?
When most people think of anguish, they likely imagine a physical sensation of pain. However, emotional anguish is also a real thing, and it can be just as debilitating as any other type of pain. Emotional anguish refers to the psychological distress that is caused by events or situations that are particularly stressful or traumatic.
In some cases, it might be considered an intangible injury, meaning that it is not physical and cannot be measured in any tangible way. However, emotional anguish can still cause real harm to someone who experiences it.
If you are dealing with this type of distress, it is important to understand your legal rights and options. An experienced lawyer can help you determine whether you have a case and guide you through the legal process.
Can You Get Compensation for Emotional Anguish?
Yes. American law recognizes emotional anguish as a personal injury, and you can file a claim to get compensation from the negligent party that caused your accident. However, you should know that emotional anguish claims are not simple to prove.
Emotional anguish claims are difficult to quantify, unlike regular personal injury claims. However, with the help of experienced New Haven personal injury lawyers, you can get compensated for your distress.
What Are Some Of The Examples Of Emotional Anguish?
If you were recently in an accident and began to notice some of these feelings or conditions in your life or the life of your injured loved one, it is probably time to file an emotional distress claim.
Accidents and injuries can also leave you intensely worried about the slightest of issues. It is common for people involved in an accident to experience multiple anxiety attacks later in life, especially when faced with a trigger. However, to get compensation for anxiety after an accident, it should be medically linked to the accident, and your anxiety should not be fleeting. You will need to prove that it is persistent and affects your life.
This refers to intense suffering of both the body and mind. Serious accidents are bound to cause both physical and mental torment. It gets worse when the person involved is confined to a hospital bed or chair.
The flashbacks from the accident may also have a mentally scarring effect. If our New Haven personal injury lawyers can prove the extent of your torment, then it can be included in your claim.
Humiliation after an accident can come from many things. For instance, if the accident left you with disfigured body parts that make you feel extremely embarrassed, you could sue for the emotional distress it is causing you. You could also file a claim for humiliation if the injury left you unable to do some essential functions without help.
One of the most common mental conditions that affect accident survivors is depression. It can make you feel hopeless and disinterested in even the things that previously gave you immense pleasure. Fortunately, depression can be clinically diagnosed, making it slightly easier to prove than other forms of emotional anguish.
You may have insomnia if you have been finding it hard to fall or stay asleep since your accident. While your doctor cannot perform clinical tests to diagnose your insomnia, they may be able to get you the proper medication to help you get some sleep.
However, if your insomnia exceeds six months and is persistent, it can be termed chronic, and you can get compensation for that.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) occurs after you experience or witness a traumatic event. The impact can be significant, depending on how affected you were by the accident. PTSD may manifest in the form of nightmares, avoidance, anxiety, and mood changes.
With the help of a doctor, you may fully heal after a while. However, it sometimes takes plenty of time and resources, so it would help you to file a claim to get compensation for all your trouble. Your doctor can medically diagnose your PTSD, and your records may help you prove your case.
Loss of Consortium
Loss of consortium is when, as a spouse, you no longer get the love or physical affection you previously got from your relationship before the accident. This includes companionship, intimacy, and even support. You could file for loss of consortium if your spouse’s accident rendered them unable to offer you the intimacy you require. You can also file a claim if the accident led to the death of your loved one.
Difficulty in Adapting
Adapting to life after your injuries can never be easy. While some people bounce back quickly after injuries, others find it much harder to adapt to their new realities. This is particularly common in people who have lost limbs or other abilities from an accident. If you are struggling to adapt and it is impacting the quality of your life, you could sue the negligent party for your struggles.
When Is Emotional Distress Considered a Personal Injury?
Primarily, the law allows you to file an emotional anguish claim when you have physical injuries resulting from your accident. However, in some exceptions, you may file an injury claim even though you did not sustain physical injuries from the accident.
A common example is the death of a loved one in an accident. You can file a claim for the emotional distress caused by the loss of a loved one.
Your emotional distress claim may fall under two categories depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident.
Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress
You can sue for intentional infliction if the defendant knowingly caused harm that resulted in emotional distress. This is one of the exceptions that does not require you to suffer personal injury to get compensation.
As an example, suppose the defendant deceives you that your loved one died in a fatal accident. If the news causes you long-term emotional suffering, you may be able to sue.
Under this category, your loved ones can even sue if the defendant harmed you in their presence. For example, your spouse could sue an attacker who murdered their loved one in cold blood in front of them, causing the plaintiff PTSD.
The main aspects of such a claim would include proving that the defendant’s actions were intentional, that you or a loved one suffered emotional distress as a result of the accident, and the nature of your relationship with the defendant.
Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress
The law allows you to sue a negligent party for any emotional anguish they may have caused you as a result of their negligence. To get compensation under this claim, you must prove that the defendant’s negligent actions directly caused your emotional distress.
That is why the judge may require some physical symptoms to align with your emotional distress symptoms for them to consider the claim.
This type of claim is common when you have a physical injury claim to file as well. With the help of your New Haven personal injury lawyers, proving such a claim should not be very difficult.
How To Prove Your Emotional Distress
As with all other injury claims, the judge or jury will require proof to determine what your compensation may be. So how do you prove your distress in court?
One of the key pieces of evidence that the court will seek from you is medical documentation. These contain notes from your doctor or therapist, medical records, and prescriptions. So, in order to receive the compensation you deserve, preserve detailed copies of these documents.
A Doctor’s Testimony
Your personal injury lawyer may request that your medical care provider testify about your emotional distress in court. In most cases, this will work in your favor since it may prove what you are going through. In some exceptional cases, the defendant may request that you be examined by a neutral doctor to determine the level of your anguish. If this occurs, your lawyer will advise you on how to proceed.
Close Friends And Family
Your spouse, children, or best friends may also be a source of evidence. They may inform the court about their interactions with you since the accident and how the accident has affected your life.
Photographs and Videos
Pictures often speak louder than words, so gathering visual evidence of your distress helps strengthen your case.
Your therapist may submit journal entries as proof of your emotional state following the accident if you started keeping one soon after the incident.
How Much Compensation Can You Get?
Your compensation will significantly vary depending on several factors. The main thing that the court will consider is the extent of your injuries. They will also look into the evidence you submit to determine how much compensation you will get. Overall, your choice of personal injury lawyer will play a huge role in the case since such intricate cases require expertise and knowledge if you are to emerge victorious.
Get Yourself an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer
When dealing with emotional distress, you must do all in your power to avoid stress and live a peaceful life as you recover. Our New Haven personal injury lawyers understand that and aim to help with the tedious court processes you need to follow to get your rightful compensation.
With our guidance and cooperation, we will ensure you get the proper legal justice you and your family deserve. At Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers, we believe that your mental and emotional health is as important as your physical. So call us today and get our lawyers started on your claim.