Emotional distress is a fairly common side effect that presents itself after an auto accident. It could manifest itself as anxiety, fear in driving, depression and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). If you were involved in an accident that was not your fault and you no longer have joy in the things that you had beforehand, you may have mental anguish. Every accident is different and some may not show any signs of emotional distress whereas another person may feel completely terrified to live their life as it were before the accident.
Not all states allow clients to claim emotional distress. Make sure that you are aware of the state laws that surround your case. Does your state allow “Non-economic damages” as well as “economic damages”? Economic damages are monetary losses due to and accident. Most economic damages are bills that are brought about as a result of the accident. Non-economic damages would be the result of “pain and suffering”.
How do you claim emotional distress? How can you calculate what compensation you should receive due to emotional distress? Generally you will need to incorporate more than one piece of proof for emotional damages. A doctor’s note/records should be included with ANY claim. Often times attorneys, like a personal injury lawyer Arlington TX can rely on, will calculate the economic damages and multiply that number with anything ranging from 1 to 5. The more severe the injury the higher the multiplier, usually.
Getting a jury to evaluate emotional distress is difficult. Psychiatrists and psychologists can be called in to testify as an expert witness. This will help in clearing any lines regarding what could or could not happen to a person’s psyche. They would also be able to provide the parameters of how the emotional distress of an accident of the magnitude that the client was in could effect their emotional well being. There is no method set up that lays out how to award a plaintiff monies through emotional distress. The judge cannot tell the jury what to give, only what they may think is reasonable.
Coming to terms with emotional distress can oftentimes seem more difficult to handle than the body healing. All cases are different, no two cases are ever the same. Even when dealing with the same accident. People heal differently. Someone may be more mentally affected by an accident and someone may have more bodily injury. With the help of medical professionals and your personal injury attorney, you can carve a treatment path out that suits you and your needs.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC for their insight into mental anguish.