Can I Sue for Emotional Distress After a Car Accident?

Jun 28

If you have sustained injuries after a car accident, you can take legal action to seek compensation from liable parties for your injury-related losses. However, you might also begin to experience issues such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and other signs of emotional distress. The law allows you to sue for emotional distress as well.

However, you need the help of a reputable injury law firm to assess the best way to recover financially for your emotional damage. Our trusted South Bend car accident lawyers have decades of experience helping accident victims, and we can assess your options in a free consultation.

Understanding Emotional Distress

Car accidents are not only physically damaging but can also have severe psychological effects on those involved. The National Health Institute (NHI) notes that collisions are the top cause of PTSD. Other emotional and mental health conditions may also develop after such traumatic events. Initially, victims might experience shock and disbelief, followed by sadness, anger, confusion, or fear.

These reactions can be part of the healing process; however, when they persist and start interfering with daily life, they may indicate a serious disorder like PTSD. If you are struggling with emotional distress after a car accident, recovery is possible.

How Do You Prove Emotional Distress?

To prove emotional distress, you need to compile and present evidence that shows the following:

  • Medical records and doctors’ notes on the severity and duration of your injuries
  • Therapy or counseling records
  • Witness statements
  • Expert witness testimony
  • Personal journals that document emotional suffering
  • Evidence of changes in daily life, such as missed workdays

Emotional Distress Can be Eligible for Compensation After a Car Accident

After a car accident leading to severe emotional and psychological distress, you can have grounds for a lawsuit. The following diagnoses are commonly associated with emotional distress eligible for legal action:

  • PTSD, which manifests in nightmares, flashbacks, and uncontrollable thoughts about the event among others.
  • Anxiety disorders such as constant worry, tension, restlessness, or panic attacks
  • Depression characterized by a deep feeling of sadness and loss of interest.

Note that pursuing compensation for emotional distress requires documentation of how it directly relates to the car accident. A diagnosis from your doctor can serve as critical evidence to support your claim.

How Much Money Will I be Compensated for Emotional Distress?

There isn’t a set amount of emotional distress compensation, as each claim is reviewed case by case. However, the more severe and debilitating your emotional distress, the higher the potential compensation. This includes how significantly the distress impacts your capacity to engage in gainful and social activities and everyday life.

Let a South Bend Car Accident Attorney Evaluate Your Case Today

A successful car accident claim requires robust evidence to prove negligence by the at-fault party. If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you need to secure the representation of an attorney to help gather key evidence. Your attorney will determine liability and work to hold the liable parties accountable for all your damages. Contact us today for case evaluation and to initiate the process of seeking legal recovery for injuries and losses you sustained.

Tom Blackburn

Blackburn Romey founding partner Tom Blackburn graduated with honors receiving a degree from Indiana University at the Robert H. McKinney School of Law. Initiating his legal career in 1977, he has been active in practicing law and currently serves as a member of the Indiana State Bar Association on the Ethics and Advertising Committees, the American Bar Association, the American Association for Justice, as a board member at the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association, and as an appointed member of the Executive Committee for the State of Indiana for the National Trial Lawyers Association.

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This page has been written, edited, and reviewed by a team of legal writers following our comprehensive editorial guidelines. This page was approved by Founding Partner, Tom Blackburn, who has more than 47 years of legal experience, including over 39 years specializing as a personal injury attorney.