Brad Pistotnik Law
Abogado El Toro

Can Car Accident Victims Pursue Emotional Damages?

Can car accident victims pursue emotional damages following a car accident? How do accident survivors document the emotional toll a crash causes? Emotional trauma following a car accident is common. Some studies show that rates of PTSD following a car crash may be as high as 50%. When accidents occur, individuals can pursue compensation for emotional injuries when it is supported by evidence that can include medical records, mental health evaluations, and personal diaries.

PTSD and Other Unseen Injuries

In the United States, it is estimated that 39.2% of adult crash survivors suffer PTSD following a motor vehicle accident. By comparison, teenage car accident survivors have an estimated PTSD prevalence of 13%. It currently remains unclear why there is such a vast discrepancy, but it is theorized that younger brains have the ability to absorb more emotional trauma than those of older adults.

Emotional damages can persist for months, years, and decades after an accident. Factors that influence the duration of symptoms include the age of the individual at the time of the accident, their mental health status, the severity of the individual's injuries, and whether or not the accident caused a fatality. In general, survivors who suffer a traumatic brain injury, disabling injury, amputation, or survive a fatality accident are at greatest risk of suffering long-term mental health injuries.

Establishing Emotional Distress Following a Car Accident

Emotional distress is a broad term that encompasses a wide range of symptoms. It includes anxiety, such as being afraid, nervous, or anxious to drive or ride in a motor vehicle. It includes guilt, shame, or bitterness at having survived a fatality causing motor vehicle accident. It also includes chronic insomnia.

Evidence that can establish emotional distress includes medical records. These can be particularly useful when pursuing emotional damages, as they can create a direct connection between injuries suffered and emotional distress. For instance, if the individual is a construction worker who is unable to lift their tools because of an injury, this can cause anxiety over a potential job loss or loss of earning capacity.

Accident survivors can submit evidence, including mental health records. Professional evaluations provided by licensed counselors, psychologists, and psychiatrists can verify the presence of anxiety disorders, depression, and PTSD.

Witness testimony and journal entries may also be presented as evidence. This is why it is advisable for individuals to keep a recovery diary. This can be presented to the court to establish the effect the injuries have on the individual's quality of life and emotional well-being.

Call Brad Pistotnik Law at 1-800-241-BRAD or call us on our local line at 316-684-4400 for more information about emotional damages. We represent clients pursuing car accident claims in Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, or Texas. We give emergency legal consultations on weekends, holidays and at night. You can call Brad Pistotnik on his cell at 316-706-5020. You can reach Tony Atterbury on his cell at 316-617-9237.