• Kenneth Powell

Can You Sue for Emotional Distress?

The short answer is that after being involved in an automobile accident, a victim can claim emotional distress. From a legal standpoint, the victim’s ability to receive compensation for emotional distress can be contingent on their personal injury attorney's ability to demonstrate the negative impact the accident has had on their daily life. It is also contingent on their attorney's ability to build a strong legal argument for liability that establishes that the victim’s injuries were directly caused by another party's negligence, the collision, and not some other effect.


Emotional Distress Is a Type of ‘Pain and Suffering’ Damage

Emotional Distress Is a Type of ‘Pain and Suffering’ Damage


Emotional distress is a sort of injury that causes 'pain and suffering' as opposed to a physical injury like whiplash. Following an automobile accident, plaintiffs can sue for both monetary and non-monetary damages, such as medical expenses, drugs, assistive technology, and lost income, as well as pain and suffering, which involves:


● Disfigurement

● Emotional anguish

● Loss of friendship

● Companionship loss

● Loss of enjoyment of life

● Emotional wounds

● Physical handicap


"A profoundly unpleasant emotional reaction stemming from another's conduct, for which damages may be claimed," according to the legal term of emotional distress. As an example, the plaintiff might be afraid of getting behind the wheel, driving in bad weather, or even riding in a car driven by someone else.


Panic attacks, anxiety, guilt, or suicidal thoughts may make it difficult for the plaintiff to function during the day. Going to work, caring for their family, and taking care of themselves may become challenging.


If they are suffering from any of these types of emotional distress, it is critical that they speak with a doctor about their symptoms and receive appropriate care. Also, inform the team of Powell Law car accident attorneys about these concerns so that these damages are included in the plaintiff’s car accident lawsuit case.


Emotional Distress Can Increase the Value of a Settlement or Jury Award Significantly


Emotional anguish might result in a substantial increase in compensation. When assessing "fair and reasonable" damages for the loss the victim has incurred, the courts may use one of two methods. They usually sum up past, current, and future money losses and multiply the total by 1.5 to five, depending on the intensity of the victim’s mental suffering. Another way entails calculating the victim’s direct expenses (such as doctor appointments, therapy sessions, medicine, and missed income) by the number of days they are estimated to be impaired for a "per diem" amount.


Non-economic damages are not limited in Missouri, unlike in several other states, therefore one could get more than $750,000.


How Do You Prove Emotional Distress?


The following are the most powerful emotional distress claims:


● Physical consequences (like fatigue, headaches, digestive upsets, frequent infections, or cold sores)

● Effects on the mind (like anxiety, PTSD, or depression)

● Confirmation from a mental health professional (new diagnosis, prescription drug, or therapy sought)

● Distress with a high level of intensity (that interferes with school, work, or family care)

● Lengthy duration (with effects lasting months or years)


Recovering Compensation for Emotional Distress from a Car Accident Isn’t Easy


It is difficult to seek monetary compensation for a victim’s emotional pain, no matter how much evidence they can assemble. Insurance providers can dispute such a claim, and while they may end up agreeing to settle, the victim may need to go to court.


With that being said, it is critical that the plaintiff claims their legal rights if they are entitled to monetary compensation for emotional distress caused by a car accident. Emotional distress can have significant financial and non-financial implications when determining a settlement amount.


An experienced attorney can assist them, and they may ensure that the effects of the plaintiff’s accident are as minimal as possible by contacting a lawyer to file a vehicle accident lawsuit.


Family Members May Qualify for Emotional Distress Damages, too.


While it is uncommon, attorneys may argue for emotional damages to be awarded to spouses or children who witness the accident. The 1968 case of Dillon v. Legg proved that members of the home might suffer substantially even if they are not physically injured.


After a car accident, the plaintiff (and maybe their family members) may claim damages for emotional pain. If there’s someone that wants a free consultation, call the personal injury attorneys at Powell Law Firm or visit the website to learn more. We can fight for the full amount of your claim every step of the way.