How Do I Claim Compensation for Emotional Distress Post Car Accidents?

After a car accident, you’re probably well aware of your physical injury, but what about your emotional distress? You can recover damages for emotional distress just as you can for medical bills, lost wages, and damage to your vehicle.

Below, an Oklahoma car accident lawyer provides some examples of emotional distress and discusses how to recover damages for your mental anguish.

Understanding Emotional Distress

Emotional distress isn’t like economic damage because it has no inherent value. You can easily add up the cost of medical treatment, but if you’ve developed anxiety or depression after a car crash, how much is that worth?

Emotional distress includes:

Here are some examples that illustrate emotional distress:

  • Sandra has become highly anxious after her car accident. She refuses to drive anymore, which causes her to lose her job and become isolated from her friends.
  • Andy has lived with PTSD for years, but he had the condition under control with his doctor’s help. However, a car accident triggered his PTSD and caused him to experience symptoms again.

How To Calculate Your Emotional Distress Damages

Your Oklahoma car accident lawyer can use one of two methods to calculate emotional distress damages: the multiplier method or the per diem method.

If your car accident attorney in Oklahoma chooses the multiplier method, they’ll tally up all your economic damages (property damage, medical bills, etc.). They will then select a multiplier ranging from 1.5 to 5 and multiply your economic damages by that p. The worse your injuries are, the larger the multiplier your Oklahoma auto accident lawyer may use.

If your Oklahoma car crash attorney chooses the per diem method, they’ll calculate your damages from the date of the accident until you reach maximum medical improvement (MMI).

Which calculation method should your car wreck lawyer in Oklahoma choose? This largely depends on your prospects for recovery. If you’ll recover fully from injury, they might opt for the per diem method. Otherwise, they will choose the multiplier method. That’s because the per diem method might not cover all your damages if you’ve suffered a permanent disability.

Proving Emotional Distress

Proving non-economic damages, such as emotional distress and pain and suffering, can be quite challenging. You’ll have to find strong proof that connects your emotional distress with the accident injury.

This proof might include:

  • Video footage and pictures of the accident scene
  • Photos of your injuries
  • A statement that explains how your injuries have impacted your life (perhaps you can’t care for your kids anymore, which has caused you to develop depression)
  • Testimony from your doctor, therapist, or psychiatrist
  • Copies of your medical bills
  • Proof of lost wages
  • Statements from your family explaining how the accident has impacted you emotionally

What To Do After a Car Crash

For the strongest possible chance of recovering all of your damages:

  • Gather good evidence at the accident scene, such as pictures of your car, video footage, and witness statements.
  • See a doctor promptly, even if you think you’re not injured.
  • Hire a good auto injury lawyer in Oklahoma.
  • Don’t accept the first settlement offer without consulting your lawyer. The first offer likely won’t fully cover your damages. If it doesn’t, your lawyer can negotiate for more.

Legal Representation for Car Accidents in Oklahoma

If you’d like to seek compensation for emotional distress but don’t know where to turn, reach out to Bryan Garrett PLLC. Attorney Bryan Garrett has proudly represented clients throughout Tulsa and Oklahoma City for over 15 years. For a free consultation with an Oklahoma car accident lawyer, call (405) 725-2661.

Bryan Garrett PLLC

Bryan Garrett has been dedicated to personal injury law for over 15 years in Oklahoma City. He has achieved excellent results for countless clients, whether through settlement or litigation.

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