Can you sue for emotional distress after a car accident? Yes, in most situations, you can. As a car accident victim, you have the right to demand fair compensation from the other driver who hit you, which includes damages for pain, suffering, hardship, and emotional trauma. Although your physical injuries will certainly require attention and medical care, it is important not to overlook your emotional and mental injuries when filing a claim or lawsuit.
Why Can You Sue for Emotional Distress?
In most states and situations, you can include “general” damages when filing a civil claim against a liable party or defendant. General damage is related to your pain and suffering, rather than a tangible cost like medical care and lost wages, which is called “special” damage.
Car accident cases are no exception to this rule. Physical injuries caused by a violent crash can be dramatic and life-changing, so they get the most attention. But the truth is that emotional traumas are also quite common after a crash.
Car accident survivors can experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, such as:
- Feeling afraid to travel by car again
- Fear spikes when seeing the same make, model, or color of the car involved in the accident
- Insomnia due to recurring nightmares about the crash
- Uncomfortable “on-guard” behavior whenever in a car
- Guilt-related anxiety or depression
- Unpredictable flashbacks to the moments of the accident
Emotional distress after a car accident can be more disruptive and damaging than some physical injuries. People with severe PTSD symptoms can struggle to hold gainful employment or interaction with others. Simply leaving the house can become an unbearable challenge if it means driving again. With such severe consequences possible, it is clear why general or noneconomic damages are so important when calculating the value of a car accident claim.
Do you need help calculating the value of your car accident claim, including how it has impacted you emotionally? Kentucky Injury Law Center in Bowling Green would be happy to assist. Contact us today to learn more about your options and our legal services.