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If you’ve been in a truck or car accident, then there’s a good chance you can recover compensation by filing a personal injury claim. You may be able to claim compensation for your physical injuries, emotional trauma, lost income, and more. Contact an experienced truck accident lawyer if you wish to sue for emotional distress.

Can I Claim Compensation After a Truck, Motorcycle, or Car Accident?

A semi truck lying on its side after hitting a car and losing control. The car's driver wonders if they can claim emotional distress.

If you’ve been injured or have experienced mental and emotional suffering after a motor vehicle accident, then there’s a good chance you can recover compensation. You can usually only recover compensation for emotional distress if you’ve also sustained a physical injury. You’ll need an experienced car accident attorney at your side to help you.

If you haven’t sustained a bodily injury, then you may still be able to sue for emotional distress. However, you’ll need to show that the other driver behaved recklessly, leading to extreme emotional distress for you.

You may also recover compensation for emotional distress without bodily injuries if you can prove the other driver’s actions were extreme, outrageous, or intentional.

If you wish to pursue compensation after a car accident or a truck accident, then you need to talk to a lawyer about your options. You may be able to book a free consultation with an auto accident attorney who can advise you on what to do as an accident victim.

What Exactly Is Emotional Distress?

An upset man speaking with a therapist.Emotional distress damages cover a wide array of emotional or psychological distress. You may be able to make an emotional distress claim if you’re dealing with any of the following:

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Flashbacks
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • The feeling of degradation
  • Loss of sleep
  • Loss of quality of life
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Diminished job performance/loss of interest in work
  • Emotional pain caused by a disability

Essentially, if anything is causing you some kind of emotional harm after your car accident, then it may be considered emotional distress. Emotional injuries come in many forms, so speak to a professional and your attorney about what you’re dealing with. Your attorney will advise on whether or not your problems are something you can pursue compensation for when you sue for emotional distress.

How Much Could I Potentially Win for My Emotional Distress?

Compensation for emotional distress is usually classed as a non-economic damage. Compensation for your emotional distress will typically be included under the umbrella of pain and suffering damages. Depending on the severity of your emotional distress, you may be able to claim a substantially large amount of money. Usually, people who’ve been left with a disability, severe PTSD, head trauma, or another lifelong or long-lasting issue will receive the most money.

If you’ve had to undergo medical treatment for your emotional distress, then you may be reimbursed for this as part of your economic damages. Economic damages cover things you can financially calculate, such as medical bills and lost income. If you need ongoing treatment for your emotional distress, then this will typically be factored into your future medical expenses when your economic damages are calculated.

Is There a Limit on How Much Compensation I Can Recover for My Emotional Damages?

In Texas, there’s generally no limit on how much you can recover in non-economic damages when dealing with a personal injury case. Some accident victims walk away with seven-figure settlements because of this. However, as stated above, these high sums are usually awarded to people who’ve been left disabled or have had their lives changed forever after getting into car accidents.

So, when you sue for emotional distress, you can do so knowing that you may be very well compensated for what you’ve been through. However, the sum you walk away with will vary depending on the severity of your injuries, your distress, and other circumstances of your case.

How Do You Calculate Compensation for Emotional Distress?

Man staring at a truck that hit his car.Sometimes it’s difficult to calculate how much you could win in compensation for emotional distress after a car accident. Car accident victims and truck accident victims will usually have some serious injuries that must be treated. The cost of this treatment is usually easily calculated. Knowing the exact value of something makes it simpler to calculate economic damages such as medical expenses.

However, with emotional distress and other pain and suffering damages, there are two methods that are used to determine how much car accident victims may walk away with.

Per Diem Method

One method sometimes used when calculating compensation for emotional distress is the Per Diem method. With this method, a dollar amount is assigned to each day after your accident. The dollar amount will typically be calculated based on your serious injuries, mental anguish, and so on.

The dollar amount will specifically apply to days when your emotional distress caused you suffering. The timeframe begins from the time of your accident to the time you reach Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI).

Multiplier Method

The other method used after a car or truck accident is the multiplier method. This is more commonly used than the Per Diem method when calculating compensation for emotional distress in a car accident lawsuit.

The multiplier method uses your economic damages, such as your lost wages and the cost of treating your car accident injuries, to calculate your non-economic damages.

A number between 1 and 5 is chosen based on the severity of your emotional suffering. The sum of your economic damages is multiplied by that number to calculate the sum you’ll get for your mental and emotional trauma and other non-economic damages after the car accident.

How Can I Prove That My Distress Was Caused by the Accident?

A distressed woman after a truck accident.The toughest part when you seek compensation after a car accident is the part where you must prove emotional distress was caused by the car accident.

Car accidents often cause serious physical injuries and emotional distress, so the insurance company and the other driver’s attorney may be expecting you to claim compensation for some amount of emotional distress. However, proving that all of your emotional distress after a car accident was caused by the motor vehicle collision can be tough.

Doing the things discussed below may help you prove your emotional distress was caused by the accident.

Contant a Medical Professional

You must always contact a medical professional after a car accident. Do so even if you didn’t suffer injuries and even if you believe you don’t have any mental suffering. You may have hidden injuries, and there may be problems with your mental health as time goes on. Physical injuries such as whiplash can appear even weeks after automobile accidents occur, and it sometimes takes time for you to realize your mental state has been affected.

You should specifically seek counsel from a mental health professional after your accident. Mental health professionals may be able to diagnose you with certain conditions such as anxiety, depression, and PTSD after a car accident or truck accident. These diagnoses are not uncommon after car accidents and truck accidents.

Talk To Your Attorney

Ensure your car accident lawyer knows about any diagnosis you receive regarding emotional distress. Having a diagnosis, or at least having a statement from a mental health professional, can be helpful in a car accident case. A full medical assessment and statements from medical professionals are often used in car accident claims.

If your emotional injury is causing you any mental or physical distress after a car accident, then you should speak to your regular doctor so you can receive treatment, and keep your attorney updated. Both your physical and emotional health need to be taken care of after a car crash.

Document Your Journey

Consider keeping a journal after a car accident. Write down how your emotional distress is impacting your daily life. A car accident victim’s life is impacted in both major and minor ways after a sudden collision.

Showing that your everyday life is impacted by your pain and suffering may be helpful evidence of your emotional distress when building a car accident case. Show your personal injury attorney your journal entries so they can use these entries as evidence if you allow them to.

Your attorney can’t share anything you don’t permit them to share, so you can show them anything without fear of having your private thoughts shared with unwanted parties.

Your attorney will likely advise on what parts of your journaling will help with your personal injury claim. Journaling can also be a good way to keep track of how your physical injuries are healing and impacting you, too.

Consult Friends and Family

A loved one may be able to give a witness testimony regarding your emotional distress. Ask your loved ones if they’d be willing to testify to help you seek compensation for emotional distress. Statements from witnesses are often used during a personal injury lawsuit.

Mental health professionals you’ve consulted aren’t the only ones who can tell when you’re dealing with emotional distress. The people who know you in your everyday life will often find it easy to tell when you’re not coping well or when your life has been impacted after an automobile accident.

What Else Can You Be Compensated for After a Car Accident?

An injured man upset in his hospital bed.There are other things you can be compensated for besides the infliction of emotional distress. Though you can often receive large amounts of compensation for emotional distress after a car accident, you deserve to be compensated for your other losses, too.

Medical Bills

If you’ve suffered physical injuries or a traumatic brain injury, then your medical expenses will usually be covered after a car accident. This includes your current and future medical expenses. Your medical records may be used to prove your injuries didn’t pre-date the car accident.

Some physical injuries can even cause the infliction of emotional distress after a car accident, so it’s very important for these injuries to be treated and for damages to be recovered.

Lost Wages

If you’ve had to stop working due to your physical injuries or specific emotional stress, then you’ll generally be reimbursed for the money you would’ve earned if you’d been working.

Lost wages can cover temporary time off for recovering from your injuries, but you can also receive compensation for your lost earning potential if you’ll never be able to return to work after the car accident.

If you’re able to return to work part-time but not full-time, then you may still be compensated for your lost earning potential. The sum may reimburse you for what you would’ve earned if you’d still been working full-time between the time of the accident and your future retirement.

Property Damage

Your personal property, such as the vehicle and the things in your truck at the time of the accident, have value. You may be reimbursed for the value of the items lost and the cost of repairing your vehicle after the accident. If your vehicle can’t be repaired, then you may be reimbursed for the value of the truck at the time of the accident.

Loss of Consortium

If you lost a loved one in the accident, then you may be able to claim compensation for loss of consortium as part of the non-economic damages for pain and suffering you recover after the accident. Speak to your attorney about filing a wrongful death lawsuit if somebody lost their life in the accident.

What If I Was Partially at Fault for the Accident?

If you were partially at fault for the accident, then you may still receive compensation for your emotional distress and other damages. However, contributory negligence will likely lead to the total amount you can claim being lower than what you’d get if you weren’t partially at fault.

Your attorney’s ability to calculate what percentage liable you were for the accident is crucial here. What percent liable the insurance company believes you are also impacts how much you can negotiate, and if the issue goes to court, the court will determine your liability (if any).

If you’re determined to be 20% at fault for the accident, then you may only receive 80% of the total compensation you may have won if you hadn’t been partially liable.

Contact an Attorney if Youve Been in a Motor Accident

Contact Brian C. Gutierrez at 979-271-5338 if you’ve been involved in a truck, car, or motorcycle accident. Your attorney may be able to help you recover compensation for your damages. They’ll negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf, help prove your claim, and do whatever it takes to get you the compensation you deserve.

If you need a trucking accident attorney in Bryan, TX or College Station, contactBrian C. Gutierrez, PLLCfor experienced representation.

Our semi truck accident lawyer in Bryan, TX can help you build a strong case. We will obtain the crash report, conduct our own investigation, gather evidence, interview witnesses, hire experts, inspect the tractor-trailer, and if necessary, file a lawsuit and subpoena records to prove the negligence of the truck driver and the carrier.

Get a free case evaluation

“No words describe how amazing it is to work with Brian.” J.T.

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