Can you Prove Emotional Distress in an Auto Accident Injury Lawsuit
Auto accidents take mere seconds to occur, but they can affect your life for years if you suffer serious injuries in an accident. The purpose of auto accident injury lawsuits is to help restore the injured person’s life, and wellbeing to the way it was before the accident occurred, or as close as possible.
A serious auto accident can disrupt your life to the point that simply getting treatment for your injuries and getting your car repaired, is not enough to get things back to normal. This is the logic behind awarding damages for emotional distress to plaintiffs injured in an auto accident.
Presenting Absolute Evidence of Unseen Damage
It is very simple to document physical injuries. If you go to the emergency room to be examined immediately after an auto accident, you are prepared in case you begin to suffer pain later because of the accident. The report from the hospital provides absolute evidence of what a physical examination or an X-ray taken immediately after the accident showed. Just like with your physical injuries the best way to show emotional distress is to let your medical records do the talking.
For example, you can make an appointment with a mental health facility after the accident or as soon as you begin to feel prolonged emotional distress from the auto accident. If possible, locate a counselor whose expertise is helping patients cope mentally with serious physical injuries. If you ask the physician that treats you for your physical injuries to refer you to a psychologist or other mental health professional, that is even better, because it will be clear from your medical records that your emotional distress is obvious even to general practice physicians.
How Much Compensation Can I Get for Emotional Distress From An Auto Accident?
It is very difficult to quantify happiness or emotional distress from an auto accident. Therefore, the courts will often calculate emotional damages using something called the general damages multiplier. The reason they do this is that it is extremely difficult to measure another person’s emotions, especially those that are derived from an auto accident. The severity of the physical injuries is often the only way courts can judge how much a plaintiff has suffered. The evidence that you have sought medical treatment for your emotional distress directly from the auto accident is very important. Especially if your emotional distress is greater than what your “perceived” physical injuries would typically suggest.