Can You Sue For Emotional Distress After A Car Accident?

18 October 2019
 Categories: Law, Blog


Depending on how bad a car accident is, it is possible to experience emotional distress. If an accident is severe enough, it could cause significant physical injuries that could be life-altering. This will undoubtedly cause emotional distress.

When can you sue for emotional distress after a car accident? There are specific reasons in certain states. Here is some information to help you.

What Is Considered Emotional Distress?

Emotional distress, also known as pain and suffering and mental anguish, can be just as serious as a physical injury. Emotional distress can be life-altering if you develop severe anxiety or PTSD that prevents you from working or enjoying your daily life.

Emotional distress also covers feelings of humiliation, insomnia, depression, and torment. In a court of law, in order to prove emotional distress after an accident, you must prove these feelings were caused by the accident itself and were not a pre-existing condition.

How Do You Prove Emotional Distress?

There are a few ways to prove you suffered emotional distress after an accident. First, in most states, you must have suffered a physical injury along with mental anguish to sue for it. This isn't the case in all states, so check with your lawyer to see if it's possible to sue even if you or a loved one wasn't hurt in the accident.

You must prove that the distress isn't temporary and is a long-term thing. You will need your medical records or a doctor to verify this for you. Along the same lines, you must prove that the distress is bad enough to cause significant damage to your daily life. This means you can't work or can only work part-time. And that you can't enjoy your daily life the way you used to.

You must also prove that the defendant is the one who caused this distress by their actions. You need to show the court that you were mentally healthy before the accident and that because of the other driver's actions, you now suffer from emotional distress.

It is possible to use the emotional distress claim when you lose a loved one during an accident or in the following days after. This is known as loss of consortium. If a loved one has died due to the accident, you can sue on the grounds of emotional distress even if you were not injured physically yourself in the accident.

For more information, contact a local car accident attorney