Can You Be Compensated For Emotional Trauma After A Car Wreck?

Anyone who has been in a car wreck knows that emotional trauma and injury can be just as bad as physical injury. Can you be compensated in a lawsuit or settlement for emotional trauma? And if so, what increases the likelihood of significant financial compensation? Here are some answers to your questions. 

Can You Be Compensated for Emotional Trauma?

The courts generally recognize that a serious car wreck can cause mental and emotional health damage. The challenge is two-fold, though. First, emotional trauma is often invisible so your legal team may need to work harder to demonstrate its effects than they do to establish physical injuries. The second challenge is attempting to put a price tag on emotional and mental harm. 

How Is Emotional Trauma Compensated?

In general, the damages awarded in a legal case are either economic damages or non-economic damages. Economic damages are related to financial losses due to your injuries, such as lost wages, medical expenses, and recovery costs. These are usually linked to a defined financial injury. 

Non-economic damages are designed to compensate for losses that are not directly financial. These include things like emotional trauma, PTSD, loss of consortium with a family member, or loss of enjoyment of life. Juries generally put their own price tag on non-economic damages, although some states limit how much they may award. 

What Can Help You Establish Emotional Trauma?

It will usually be easier to convince a jury of the severity of your emotional trauma if you also suffered physical injuries. In fact, some states will only compensate for the former if the latter exists as well. After all, being emotionally traumatized by an accident in which you nearly died is understandable by a jury. 

You can also document your emotional or mental health struggles after the wreck. In most cases, you are advised to see a medical provider both for diagnoses related to emotional trauma as well as often-ongoing treatment. These providers may give written and expert witness evidence. 

Consider, too, the value of writing down your own feelings, experiences, and challenges as you recover. A diary helps you express difficult feelings and aids a jury in understanding them. It also ensures that you don't forget events or feelings later on. And it boosts the trustworthiness of your recollections, as the journal is made closer to events. 

Where to Learn More

Getting sufficient compensation for emotional injury to receive treatment and recover your life is vital. But building your case for non-economic damages can be difficult. The best place to begin is to meet with a personal injury attorney in your state today.