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When people get involved in accidents and pursue damages for personal injury claims, they tend to think about the most obvious damages that they can get compensated for. Medical costs to treat the physical injury they have sustained in the accident, lost wages because of the number of days they weren’t able to go to work, and the cost of repairs to their damaged property are some of the things that are often considered first. Because of the overwhelming number of tangible things that a person should consider when filing for damages, they tend to overlook one significant factor, the emotional distress that the accident has caused.

Emotional distress is a type of non-economic damage that a person could include in their personal injury claim. Just like physical injuries, emotional distress can affect a victim’s everyday life and can also have an impact on their recovery time. The manifestations of emotional distress like sleep loss, anxiety, and panic attacks can have a severe effect on a person’s well-being and even their source of income. Just like any other types of non-economic damages, calculating compensation for emotional distress could be complicated.

There should be proof of emotional distress for you to be able to receive the compensation that you deserve. Here are some tips that could help you prove your claim:

1. Physical manifestation. – After a while, symptoms of emotional distress could lead to physical symptoms that may help you establish your case. You should take note of stress headaches or migraines, stomachaches because of anxiety, ulcers, chest pains, and other physical manifestations that were caused by emotional distress.

2. Magnitude and period. – The intensity and duration of your emotional distress should also be considered to help you prove your claim. Post-traumatic stress disorder is a very severe manifestation of emotional distress and recovery could take a very long time.

3. Correlation. – Proving that the root of your emotional distress is the accident you’re filing a claim for can help solidify your claim. For example, you’ve never had a panic attack before the accident; however, after the accident, you started suffering from constant panic attacks.

4. Documentation. – The physical injuries you’ve sustained in an accident would need to be treated by a physician and may take time to heal completely. During this time, it’s best to document all the symptoms of emotional distress that you may be experiencing (including items number 1, 2, and 3), and inform your doctor about them. Your doctor would add these to your record and might even endorse you to a mental health professional that can help you, which means that you have actual proof that you are suffering from emotional distress. These records/documents could be compelling tools that could help your lawsuit or insurance claim. Keeping a journal that details your symptoms and how it affects your everyday life can also be useful.

Emotional distress caused by an accident should always be considered during a personal injury claim so that you can receive the psychological help that you need to recover fully. Dismissing emotional distress could make it more severe and could have a catastrophic impact on your life.

Were you involved in an accident and are suffering from emotional distress? Contact us at Hogan Injury for expert legal advice.

None of the content on Hoganinjury.com is legal advice nor is it a replacement for advice from a certified lawyer. Please consult a legal professional for further information.


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