How to Get Compensation for Emotional Distress After A Car Accident

4-2-24-Emotional-Distress-300x200In New York, no-fault insurance coverage is limited in its ability to mitigate the serious impacts of long-term emotional distress. However, survivors with serious injuries retain the right to file a claim for compensation against the person or party who caused their accident.

Under most circumstances, a personal injury lawsuit provides an opportunity to obtain recompense for the following:

  1. Economic Damages: Economic damages refer to verifiable financial losses. These could include your outstanding medical bills, lost income from work, and anticipated care needs.
  2. Non-Economic Damages: Non-economic damages are comparably intangible and subjective losses. They include compensation for mental anguish, loss of enjoyment, and disfigurement.

Every claim is different, but the non-economic component of many car accident-related lawsuits typically entails compensation for different degrees of pain and suffering.

The Different Types Of Emotional Pain And Suffering

Emotional pain and suffering, for instance, is a common byproduct of both physical injury and the psychological trauma inherent to surviving a serious motor vehicle collision.

Emotional pain and suffering is a general term to describe a wide range of feelings. These could include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. The emotional distress of sustaining injuries caused by another party’s negligence;
  2. The emotional distress incurred by loss of companionship, if your injuries or psychological state prevent you from maintaining close relationships;
  3. The emotional distress of loss of enjoyment, which may occur if your injuries preclude participation in sports, recreational activities, and other hobbies;
  4. The emotional distress caused by diagnosable mental health disorders, which could include depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, or chronic insomnia; and
  5. The emotional distress resultant from catastrophic and non-curable injuries, such as a disfiguring scar or loss of limb.

Calculating Damages For Emotional Pain And Suffering

New York courts do not require that car accident claimants use any specific formula when assessing estimated damages for emotional pain and suffering, but personal injury lawyers frequently employ the following two methods:

  1. The Multiplier Method: The multiplier method takes the sum of the victim’s economic damages—their existing and anticipated financial losses—and multiplies it by a number between 1.5 and 5. This number is termed the “multiplier,” with higher multiplier values reflecting more significant damages.
  2. The Per-Diem Method: The per-diem method determines a “daily rate” for an accident survivor’s emotional pain and suffering, providing compensation for every day that suffering occurs and for every day that suffering is expected to occur.

Providing Evidence Of Emotional Pain And Suffering

Calculating damages for emotional pain and suffering can be difficult, largely because insurance companies and defense attorneys cannot always reach a clear consensus on the monetary value of anxiety, grief, or trauma.

However, the Dietrich Law Firm P.C. could help you provide evidence of pain and suffering by collecting, compiling, and analyzing the following:

  1. Your medical records;
  2. Expert witness testimony;
  3. A personal statement, or testimony from friends and family;
  4. A personal journal; and
  5. Other evidence demonstrating how an accident has affected your mental health and emotional state.

New York does not typically cap car accident damages for emotional pain and suffering, meaning that you could receive as much money as you need to reassert your independence and begin reclaiming your life.

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