March 22, 2021 | Car Accidents
If you or somebody you love has been involved in a vehicle accident and sustained injuries, then you will likely be able to recover compensation. However, determining exactly what type of injuries a person sustained after a motor vehicle accident can be challenging. Yes, visibly traumatic injuries are certainly a priority. However, it is not uncommon for car accident injury victims to stain unseen injuries, including emotional and psychological trauma.
Here, we want to discuss emotional damages after a vehicle accident in Texas. Particularly, we want to look at whether or not car accident victims can secure compensation for these damages.
In general, victims of motor vehicle accidents in Texas will be able to secure compensation for their pain and suffering damages (i.e. emotional damages) so long as these unseen injuries are the result of the vehicle accident and their visibly traumatic injuries.
However, securing compensation for these injuries can be challenging. First, it is essential to show that another party caused the crash. Unfortunately, a person who is at fault for the crash will likely be unable to recover compensation for their emotional injuries. However, if another driver’s careless or negligent actions caused the crash, the pain and suffering damages will likely be rolled into the overall injury claim.
Pain and suffering, including emotional damages, are considered “general damages.” These types of damages will be calculated differently than special damages (economic damages). In general, we will find that pain and suffering damages are often immeasurable by typical economic standards, making them more challenging to calculate properly. Often, an attorney will calculate general damages using a “multiplier method,” meaning they will take the total economic damages and then multiply that by a set number (usually 1.5 to 5). The total they get after the multiplication will equal what they ask for in general damages.
Proving emotional damages in the aftermath of a vehicle accident can be challenging. Any type of pain and suffering named as a result of a traumatic event involving a car accident, including emotional damages and PTSD symptoms, needs to be justified to an insurance claims adjuster in order for them to agree to the dollar amount established by the victim and their attorney.
The process of proving pain and suffering will vary from case to case, but this will generally revolve around showing how all of the accident injuries have affected a person’s life and emotional well-being. This can be done in a variety of ways. First, any diagnosis of a mental health issue by a medical professional following the vehicle accident could be used as evidence.
Additionally, we strongly encourage any vehicle accident victim to keep a daily journal that discusses their level of pain and suffering as well as any activities they are no longer able to participate in. Testimony from friends and family members of a crash victim can also be used in these cases. Friends and family can testify about how the crash has changed the injury victim, how it has affected their mood, and how the victim is no longer able to participate in the same activities they could before the personal injury occurred. For vehicle accident claims, videos or photographs taken at the scene of the crash can help show what happened and further justify emotional distress claims, and posttraumatic stress disorders particularly for car accidents that are particularly severe.