Yes, you may recover damages for emotional distress after a car accident. Many people suffer emotional trauma from the accident and their injuries, and they need costly treatment for anxiety and other distress. You also might miss work or your usual daily activities due to your accident-related anxiety or depression from dealing with physical injuries. You deserve compensation for this. Always hire a car accident attorney to review your claim and determine whether you can seek emotional distress damages.
What Other Damages Can I Seek Compensation For After a Car Accident?Emotional distress is not the only damage that car accident victims suffer—nor is it the only injury for which you can be compensated. Other recoverable damages may include:
- Medical expenses: The total reported cost of motor vehicle accidents in 2020 was $474 billion. Much of this cost comes from medical expenses. If you need emergency care, hospitalization, doctor’s appointments, or other medical services, your claim should include these losses.
- Pain and suffering: Car accident victims often experience physical pain, disfigurement, physical limitations, traumatic memories, and other forms of pain and suffering. You may receive compensation for such pain and suffering as well as related treatment.
- Lost income and other professional harm: You may incur financial losses while you’re injured. Those losses may include lost income, lost opportunities to earn bonuses, use of accrued vacation time, loss of employer-matched retirement contributions, and lost earning power.
- Property damage: Damage to your vehicle and other personal property (like a cell phone) may warrant compensation. Depending on the extent of damage, you may receive compensation to repair or replace damaged property.
- Funeral expenses.
- Medical costs.
- Lost financial support.
- Loss of spousal companionship.
- Loss of love and parental guidance.
- Other damages.
What Should I Do After a Car Accident?If you have suffered injuries or lost a loved one in a car accident, hire a lawyer. A lawyer can help you recover the funds to pay for economic and noneconomic damages you suffer after your accident.
How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help After My Car Accident?An attorney can help with all matters related to your case. In the short term, your lawyer may:
- Document your medical care, which may be crucial evidence in your case
- Protect you from insurance companies, which record most conversations and may use your own words against you
- Provide a plan of action for your case
- Pursue evidence to use in your case: Collecting video footage of your accident, witness accounts of the collision, physical evidence, expert reconstructions of the accident, and a police report may all be valuable forms of evidence.
- Identify all liable parties: Anyone whose negligence contributed to your accident may be responsible for your damages.
- Document your damages: Presenting organized documentation of doctors’ diagnoses of your injuries, medical bills, proof of missed work, therapists’ diagnosis of trauma, and vehicle repair invoices may all help establish your damages.
- Retain experts to help with your case: Experts can add critical information to help prove your claim. They may testify regarding your pain and suffering, complete reconstructions of your collision, and serve other roles within your case. Most law firms pay the cost of hiring such experts up front.
- Complete settlement negotiations: Civil settlements are more common than judgments. Your attorney of choice may negotiate a fair settlement for you, resolving your case in a way that makes the most sense for your case.
Can I Complete a Car Accident Case Without a Lawyer?Yes, but because the process can be quite complicated, it is usually not the best approach. Handling a car accident case without a lawyer means:
- You may have to pay out of your own pocket for all case-related expenses.
- You may have to spend significant time researching legal issues, dealing with attorneys or insurance adjusters for defendants in your case, obtaining evidence, completing paperwork, and dealing with all other aspects of your case.
- You may have less time to focus on treatment and recovery.
- You will be at a disadvantage compared to the opposing side that has experience and resources to prevent you from securing fair compensaiton.
What Criteria Should I Seek in a Car Accident Lawyer?Every car accident victim must find the right attorney for them. Different clients may seek other characteristics in a personal injury attorney. You may use specific considerations as a baseline in your search, weighing questions like:
- How many car accident cases has this law firm handled?
- Has the law firm won most of its claims? If so, how much compensation has the law firm won for specific clients?
- Which attorney(s) from the firm will be handling my case? Are these attorneys experienced in handling cases like mine?
- Does this law firm make me feel valued during my free consultation?
- Will this law firm go to trial if necessary?