Can I Claim For Stress After a Car Accident?
A traumatic event such as a car accident can cause a lot more than physical injuries. Many people who are involved in car accidents suffer severe emotional and psychological injuries, including stress, emotional trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and anxiety. One study found that between 20-60% of people suffered emotional distress after a car accident, including depressive mood, emotional distress, and PTSD.
If you have suffered from stress, emotional distress, or any form of anxiety after a car accident, you may be able to recover compensation by filing a personal injury claim. At Chris Morrow Law, PLLC, our Austin car accident attorneys help our clients recover compensation for anxiety, stress, emotional distress, and physical injuries on a daily basis. Chris Morrow has been helping clients in Texas with personal injury claims for over 25 years and he has a deep understanding of how the legal system operates.
A personal injury attorney from our law firm will investigate the car accident, assess how much compensation you may be entitled to, negotiate with the insurance company, and help you file a personal injury claim. We will handle all the legal matters while you take time to focus on your recovery.
Chris Morrow Law, PLLC, “The Attorney That Works”, dedicates himself to protecting your legal rights and fighting to get compensation on your behalf.
Contact our law firm today at 512-881-6791 to schedule a free consultation.
Emotional Distress After a Car Accident
After a car accident, a person may suffer emotional distress without having suffered any physical pain, or combined with physical injuries. Emotional distress can come in many forms, including stress, emotional trauma, anxiety, panic attacks, major depressive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Because of the trauma resulting from a car accident, emotional distress may seriously affect a person’s life, and they may need to get professional help from a therapist or doctor.
It is completely natural to feel stressed after a car accident. You may need to take some time off work for injuries and you could be worried about recovering compensation from an insurance company. However, when this stress interrupts your life and prevents you from engaging in normal activities, such as leaving your house, playing sports, or going to work, it is important to speak to somebody or seek medical help.
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms after your car accident, we recommend speaking with a medical professional as soon as possible:
- Mood swings
- Severe anger
- Loss of appetite
- Anxiety that prevents you from engaging in normal activities
- Insomnia or sleeplessness
- Lack of interest in normal activities
Stress and emotional distress can come in many different forms, and it is important to seek help from a medical professional who can help diagnose and treat your emotional distress. They may prescribe medication, provide you with methods for dealing with your stress, or set you up with regular therapy.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental and behavioral disorder that can develop following a traumatic event, such as a car accident. Often, those involved in a traumatic event or who have witnessed something extremely distressing later develop PTSD. Post-traumatic stress disorder is regarded as a serious mental health disorder that can have a damaging effect on a person’s life.
Some common symptoms of PTSD include:
- Difficulties sleeping
- Intrusive thoughts about the incident
- Anxiety related to the incident
- Avoidance of the same or similar activity
- Behavioral changes
- Suicidal thought
- Drug or alcohol abuse
People who develop PTSD from a car accident may have suffered serious injuries in the car crash, witnessed a family member suffer serious injuries or die, or experienced trauma from the incident itself.
The effects of PTSD can be serious and it is important to speak with a medical professional or a psychiatrist if you believe you have developed PTSD from a car accident. They can help you manage the disorder through therapy, medication, and support services.
Anxiety After a Car Accident
Many people report feeling extreme anxiety after a car accident. This is because traumatic events often trigger anxiety. An anxiety disorder can have a major impact on a person’s life. It can prevent them from engaging in activities they previously enjoyed, attending work, and getting back in a vehicle to drive.
Some common symptoms of anxiety after a car accident can include:
- Panic attacks
- Restlessness and nervousness
- Rapid breathing and increased heart rate
- Trembling and sweating
- Intrusive thoughts
- Extreme fear when in a vehicle
- Overbearing sense of fear
- Difficulties eating
- Trouble leaving your house
If you developed an anxiety disorder or feel severe anxiety after a car accident, you may be entitled to recover compensation for your harm. One of the lawyers from Chris Morrow Law, PLLC, can offer advice on whether you may be entitled to compensation for anxiety and fight on your behalf to ensure that you get justice.
How Do I Claim Compensation After a Car Accident?
Texas is an “at-fault” state for car accidents, meaning that the person who suffered injuries must claim compensation from the person who was at fault for the accident. There are typically three ways to claim compensation for stress after a car accident in Texas, filing a claim with your own insurance company, filing a third-party injury claim with the insurance company of the driver at fault for your accident, or filing a personal injury lawsuit against the driver.
All drivers in Texas are required to have car insurance with minimum liability coverage of:
- $30,000 in bodily injury liability or death for one person per car accident
- $60,000 in bodily injury liability or death for all injured persons in an accident
- $25,000 in property damage per car accident
If you were partially at fault for the accident, the amount of compensation that you can recover will be reduced based on your level of fault, as per the ‘modified comparative fault’ rule. As such, if you were 20% at fault for the accident, and the other driver was 80% at fault, it will reduce the damages you receive from them by 20%.
What If The Other Driver Does Not Have Insurance?
Although all citizens are required by Texas law to have car insurance, sometimes people drive without insurance and cause serious accidents. If you have Uninsured Motorist Coverage on your insurance policy, you will be able to make a claim through your own policy for the emotional distress you suffered in a car accident.
However, if you do not have Uninsured Motorist Coverage, it may be more difficult to recover compensation. If you are in this situation, we recommend contacting an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible. They can investigate your case and assess whether you may be able to file a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver.
Types of Car Accident Compensation
To recover compensation for stress or emotional distress resulting from a car accident, you will need to make a claim for damages. There are different types of damages you may claim, depending on the particular circumstances of your accident. These damages can include:
- Medical bills – If you were hospitalized or went to see a medical professional because of your car accident injuries, you can make a claim for medical bills. This includes medical costs relating to hospital appointments, medical treatment, therapy sessions, and ongoing care.
- Lost wages – You can claim compensation for lost wages and future potential earnings if you were unable to work because of the mental anguish you suffered as a result of the car accident.
- Property damage – If your vehicle or personal belongings were damaged in a car accident, you can claim compensation to cover the costs of repair or replacement.
- Pain and suffering – These damages can be used to recover compensation for emotional anguish and distress after a car accident. To recover these damages, it must be shown that injuries suffered during a car accident caused a person to suffer from emotional distress or anguish.
- Wrongful death – If your loved one was killed in a car accident, you can file a compensation claim to recover funeral costs and a loss of income to the household.
An experienced car accident attorney can help you seek compensation and assess what type of damages you may be entitled to claim for your case. If you suffered a physical injury on top of emotional distress, a talented lawyer can help ensure that you get compensation for both types of harm.
Can I Claim Compensation For Stress After a Car Accident?
When trying to make a claim for stress or emotional distress resulting from a car accident, there are typically two different routes you can take. The claim you make will depend on whether the harm caused by the car accident was negligent or intentional.
Negligent Infliction of Stress
When making a claim for negligent infliction of stress or emotional distress, you will need to prove that you also suffered a physical injury. This means that if you suffer physical injuries, such as a broken arm or leg, and develop emotional trauma or stress as a result, you can make a compensation claim on the grounds of negligence.
Even if you only suffered a minor physical injury, you may still claim compensation for anxiety or stress in a negligence claim. For example, you can make a whiplash and anxiety claim if you suffered whiplash from a car accident.
Intentional Infliction of Stress
If you want to seek compensation solely for stress, emotional trauma, or anxiety, without having suffered physical injuries, you will need to prove that there was an intentional infliction of emotional distress. To prove intentional harm in a car accident case, you must show:
- The at-fault driver’s conduct was intentional or reckless
- The conduct they engaged in was outrageous and extreme
- As a result of this behavior, you suffered emotional distress
It can be quite difficult to prove intentional infliction of emotional distress, and you will need a strong attorney with experience in these types of claims to help you with your case. Most compensation claims for stress are based on grounds of negligence, as it is much easier to prove and you are more likely to be awarded compensation.
How Much Compensation Can I Claim?
The amount of compensation that you can recover in a car accident claim depends entirely on the particular circumstances of your case, including the amount of harm you suffered and the level of fault of the other driver.
When it comes to emotional suffering, such as stress, anxiety, or related emotional distress, it can sometimes be more difficult to calculate the amount of compensation you are entitled to. This is because there is no specific method to calculate psychological injuries, such as stress or anxiety like there is with physical injuries.
Typically, a Judge will base their calculation on the amount of harm you suffered because of the car accident plus the experience you will continue to experience. This can include hospital appointments, time off work, visits to a counselor or psychiatrist, and other costs related to your stress.
There is no one way of determining how much compensation you may be entitled to without speaking with an experienced car accident lawyer. They can help evaluate your case and give an estimate of the amount of compensation available for your case.
Proving Emotional Distress in Car Accident Claims
To recover emotional distress damages, your attorney will need to prove that you suffered stress, anxiety, or PTSD because of the car accident and that this mental distress has had a significant impact on your life. However, proving emotional distress from a car accident, such as stress, anxiety, and PTSD, can be extremely difficult.
It is important to keep as much evidence as possible from the car accident relating to your harm. This evidence could include:
- Medical records
- Receipts for medication
- Proof of lost wages
- Notes from your doctor or psychiatrist
- Journals, social media posts, messages, or other documentation illustrating your thoughts and emotions following a car accident
- Testimony from family and friends about the harm you have suffered and how your life has changed
- Evidence of hobbies and activities that you used to take part in that you no longer do because of the severe stress you are suffering from
A personal injury lawyer from Chris Morrow Law, PLLC, can help you gather evidence and information to prove that you suffered emotional distress as a result of the car accident. They will use this evidence to build a convincing argument on your behalf and ensure that you get the compensation that you deserve.
Bystander Claims in Austin, Texas
Often, people suffer a huge amount of stress or emotional trauma when they witness a car accident, particularly if their loved ones were killed or suffered severe harm. There is a way to recover compensation for emotional distress that you suffered because of your loved one dying in a car accident, as a bystander claim. For a successful bystander claim, you must prove:
- A close relative was killed in a car accident
- You were close to the accident scene and watched it occur
- You suffered emotional distress as a result
A ‘close relative’ can be defined as parents, siblings, children, spouses, and grandparents. You will need to prove to a court that you had a close relationship with the person who was killed in the accident to recover compensation for the emotional distress suffered.
It can be helpful to hire an experienced personal injury attorney that has experience handling bystander claims. For such a traumatic event, trying to prove your close relationship in court or with an insurance company can be difficult. A lawyer from our law firm can help gather evidence on your behalf to prove your relationship and demonstrate that you suffered emotional trauma as a result of the accident.
How a Car Accident Attorney Can Help You
Car accident claims in Texas can be quite complex, particularly when trying to recover compensation for stress. Although stress, anxiety, and emotional distress are some of the most common injuries resulting from car accidents, trying to recover damages for this type of harm can be extremely difficult.
A car accident attorney can help you by offering strong legal representation throughout the entirety of your case. This means speaking with insurance companies, advising you on what you may be entitled to, examining evidence relating to your case, and building a strong argument for compensation on your behalf. Insurance companies are reluctant to hand out compensation for stress and emotional distress, which is why you will need the help of an experienced attorney to fight on your behalf.
An attorney who has experience claiming compensation for emotional distress will know how to best handle your case. They will speak with witnesses to the scene, calculate medical expenses, consult with doctors to assess the extent of the psychological trauma you have suffered, and pursue compensation on your behalf. They know how to speak with insurance companies, and will understand the tricks and tactics they may use to deny you compensation.
A personal injury attorney will also help ensure that you do not suffer from other emotional challenges while seeking compensation, as they will take over the case on your behalf. This means that you will have more time to recover from any stress or anxiety symptoms and help you continue with your life after a car accident.
Chris Morrow Law, PLLC – The Attorney That Works
When you hire a personal injury lawyer to represent your car accident case, you want to ensure that you are getting the highest standard of legal representation possible. At Chris Morrow Law, PLLC, we are genuinely interested in helping clients get through their recovery and ensuring that their needs are represented through all stages of their recovery.
Our lead attorney, Chris Morrow, has a strong reputation for his reliable and aggressive advocacy, and he approaches all personal injury cases compassionately. We understand how difficult it is to suffer a psychological injury in a car accident, and how much this can negatively affect your life. Our top priority is ensuring that your best interests are protected, that you get the compensation that you deserve, and that you can successfully recover from your injuries.
We believe that all personal injury victims should be entitled to strong legal representation, which is why we work on a contingency-fee-basis. This means that if we are unsuccessful in your case, you will not have to pay. If we are successful in winning your case, we will deduct our legal fees from your settlement, which is always guaranteed to be a fair amount. We take pride in our ability to win cases, which is why we operate on a contingency-fee-basis.
In addition to this, our law firm offers a free consultation to come in and discuss your case with Chris Morrow with no strings attached. During this consultation, we can advise you on whether you may be entitled to recover damages for your injuries, offer an estimate of how much compensation you could be able to claim and help you understand your situation. You can then make an informed choice on whether you want us to be your legal representative.
Can I Claim For Stress After a Car Accident?
Car accidents can cause a significant amount of stress and emotional distress. When this stress begins to have a negative impact on your life and prevents you from engaging in activities that you previously enjoyed, it is important that you seek help. When another person was at fault for the car accident that caused you to suffer severe stress, you may be entitled to claim compensation to cover the costs of these injuries.
If you believe that you may be entitled to receive compensation for stress, anxiety, PTSD, or any other form of emotional distress, you should contact Chris Morrow Law, PLLC. Coming up against insurance companies without legal representation can be extremely difficult, and they are often reluctant to award compensation for non-physical injuries.
A strong legal representative from our firm can help ensure that your best interests are protected and that you get the compensation you deserve. Chris Morrow is “The Attorney That Works” because he is passionate about protecting the rights of personal injury victims. He will work tirelessly to ensure that you get the best result possible for your case and that you are able to get through your recovery without added stress.
Call us today to schedule a free consultation at 512-881-6791.