Car accident victims have a legal right to compensation for their damages. Some of these losses, such as medical costs and lost wages, are fairly easy to document. Others, such as mental and emotional distress, are more difficult to prove even though their impact on a victim’s life is still significant. Working with a skilled personal injury attorney is an essential part of protecting your right to compensation for the harm you have suffered.
Documenting Mental and Emotional Distress After a Car Accident
Signs of mental and emotional distress after a car accident can include:
- Flashbacks of the event
- Being depressed, anxious, and fearful
- Being afraid to drive or travel
- Experiencing strain in your relationships with others
- Angry outbursts, crying, or general trouble regulating emotions
- Unexplained physical complaints such as headaches, trouble sleeping, or stomach pain
Although some research suggests that people with preexisting mental health conditions are more likely to experience negative mental health consequences after an accident, anyone can experience signs of serious distress after suffering car accident injuries. To document this distress, your attorney will recommend using records from any counselor or therapist you have consulted, copies of psychiatric evaluations, copies of prescriptions for antidepressants or other mood-stabilizing medications, and testimony from friends or family who can make observations about changes in your mental state after the accident. If you have been keeping a journal as part of your treatment, your own journal entries can also be used as evidence of how the accident has affected your daily activities and mental health.
How Mental and Emotional Distress Is Calculated
In a car accident claim, attorneys often use what is referred to as a general damages multiplier to assign a value for mental and emotional distress. This means, victims who have suffered serious physical injuries such as a traumatic brain injury (TBI), amputation, or spinal cord injury receive the highest compensation for their mental and emotional distress because it’s assumed their injuries have had the greatest impact on their daily lives. If your injuries from a car accident are relatively minor, it will be difficult to obtain compensation without an extensive record of treatment from a mental health professional.
Have You Been Injured In A Louisiana Car Accident?
If you've been hurt in a car accident you need to speak with an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Alexandria office directly at 318.541.8188 to schedule your free consultation.