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Can I Sue for Emotional Distress from A Car Accident?

By: Moore Law Firm | Jul 6, 2021

After a car accident, injured victims often suffer physical pain from their injuries. However, an unseen repercussion of being involved in a crash is emotional distress. This type of trauma can be life-changing and manifest in many different ways. Seeking damages for emotional distress after a car accident in Alabama can be challenging, but it is possible. For more than 35 years, the car accident attorneys at Moore Law Firm have helped personal injury victims and their families recover all types of damages stemming from car accidents caused by negligence. Learning more about emotional distress can help you understand the law and how it may apply in your case.

What Is Emotional Distress?

Emotional distress comprises the negative mental consequences a victim experiences after an accident. Many injured victims underestimate the psychological impact a car accident can have on their lives. Dealing with serious physical pain can affect your mental health, and typical daily tasks may become impossible to perform, which can be frustrating.

Fear, insomnia, nightmares, headaches, and constant worry can be serious problems that affect your quality of life. Emotional distress from a car accident can also manifest in the form of embarrassment or indignity if you’ve been seriously disabled or disfigured. Some common emotional issues that injured victims often deal with include:

Sadness and depression – An injury that affects your mobility, ability to work, and keeps you from doing things you love can make you feel sad and depressed. Even if you eventually make a full recovery, depression can stick with you and have a long-term impact on your life and sense of well-being. Serious conditions like traumatic brain injury can also cause depression, headaches, cognitive issues, and behavioral changes.

Anger and antisocial behavior – Injured victims may be irritable, lash out in anger, or even become violent due to the frustration they feel when trying to cope with the changes they’re going through. They may be angry at the people they feel are responsible for the accident and may even harbor resentments towards themselves for being injured. They may withdraw from family and friends, which can negatively affect their mental state even more.

Anxiety – Feeling anxious about your injuries, medical treatment, and what may lie ahead is normal, but it can become crippling. Panic attacks and PTSD due to trauma suffered during and after a car accident can interfere with sleep and take a serious toll on an injured victim’s overall health. Some victims fear driving or even getting in a car so much that they end up isolating themselves completely.

Proving Emotional Distress In An Alabama Car Accident Claim

In Alabama, it’s tough to recover damages for emotional distress alone, as the law only allows recovery for an intentional infliction of emotional distress. However, damages for mental anguish and pain and suffering may be included in a car accident claim. It’s important to keep in mind that pain and suffering damages must be proven to recover compensation. It can be particularly tough to prove mental anguish if you haven’t suffered any physical injuries.

Some important factors that will be considered to prove emotional distress include:

  • The severity and circumstances of the accident
  • The amount of time you have suffered from emotional distress/mental anguish
  • The severity of your symptoms
  • How your emotional distress has impacted your quality of life
  • Treatment and medication you have received for your mental condition

Although the testimony of doctors, psychologists, and other professionals can help prove your pain and suffering, documentation of your experience can provide very powerful evidence. After your accident, keep a journal of how you feel physically and emotionally every day. If you fail to keep a journal and are called to testify later, it can be hard to describe how you’ve felt over a period of time.

How Much Will I Receive In Damages For Emotional Distress After A Car Accident?

Putting a price tag on non-tangible losses like pain and suffering, emotional distress, and mental anguish is difficult. That’s why hiring an experienced car accident attorney is critical to helping you recover the full amount of compensation you deserve to make things right. Insurance companies will try and minimize your physical and emotional injuries, but with a seasoned personal injury attorney fighting for your rights, you have a much better chance of making a recovery that can help you get the treatment and financial stability you need to move on with your life.

Contact A Mobile Car Accident Lawyer To Learn More

At Moore Law Firm, we’re dedicated to protecting and fighting for injured victims’ rights. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a car accident and is suffering from emotional distress, contact us online, call us at 251-445-7602, or use the convenient chat feature on our website to schedule a free consultation today.