Car Accidents: Can I Receive Compensation for My Emotional and Mental Suffering?

April 17, 2023


When you get into a car accident, you can be sure it will be one of your life’s most stressful and emotional experiences. You will have to deal with the physical pain of your injuries and the stress of dealing with insurance companies, medical bills, and a long recovery process.

If you have been in an auto accident and suffer emotional distress, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. However, it can be challenging to know how to go about getting this type of compensation.

What is Emotional Distress?

Emotional distress is a psychological injury after the accident when dealing with the aftermath. It’s a type of pain and suffering that comes from the emotional impact of the accident.

Emotional distress isn’t just about being upset about what happened—it’s about the mental and physical effects of the accident, like stress and anxiety. In other words, emotional distress is not just your feelings about what happened but also how it impacts your life regarding your ability to function normally.

Mental and emotional injuries are often overlooked in a personal injury claim but are as accurate as physical injuries.

The most common types of emotional and mental injury include:

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. PTSD is often associated with veterans but can also occur in civilians who experience traumatic events. PTSD makes it hard to function day-to-day and can cause many other problems.

Depression. Depression is a mood disorder that affects your entire life. It impacts your thinking, feelings, and behavior and can lead to suicide if left untreated.

Anxiety Disorders. Anxiety disorders are characterized by excessive worry about everyday situations.

Can I Be Paid for Mental Distress Following a Vehicle Accident?

Emotional distress can be severe and long-lasting and may require treatment by a mental health professional. You could be eligible for financial compensation if someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing causes your accident.

Damages for car crash distress, for example, cannot be assessed according to a one-size-fits-all formula. Your particular circumstances will determine the value. Some people can recover from emotional disorders after a traumatic event, while others suffer mental suffering for years. Comparing how a person lived before and after an injury might help calculate the number of general damages since the law allows emotional compensation for “loss of enjoyment of life.”

If you’re in a non-fault accident, a lawyer can help you receive compensation for your injuries. A lawyer will negotiate with the insurance company for you to get the greatest payment without spending more of your time dealing. The lawyer will also assist you in choosing the proper claim and guide you through the process.

Hire a Lawyer

You must seek legal representation if you suffered emotional distress after an automobile accident. Hire an experienced South Carolina car accident lawyer to help you prove your case and fight for compensation from the negligent driver who caused your injuries.

Your attorney will be able to collect evidence to prove your claim for emotional distress, including how the other party’s careless actions caused you harm. If necessary, expert testimony will also be provided to prove how the other driver’s negligence directly affected you.

Proving Emotional Distress After a Car Accident

Proving someone has experienced emotional distress in court can be challenging. Plaintiffs who claim emotional distress must demonstrate the severity of their suffering and the defendant’s culpability. The validity of the claim depends on this. To qualify for compensation, a victim must demonstrate the following emotional conditions:


Courts do not compensate for mental pain or pain that does not cause significant hardship. Evidence must be provided that your psychological ailment is persistent and severe enough to make routine, day-to-day activities challenging. Obtaining medical views from a therapist, counselor, psychiatrist, or another medical expert may be helpful when demonstrating how your mental and emotional health affects your quality of life.

Underlying Reason

Comparing a person’s previous behavior with their state after the disaster is a good way to prove the event caused the trauma. PTSD results from traumatic events, such as car accidents, and may cause flashbacks, a fear of getting into cars, and an inability to work. These are all things they had no trouble with before the accident.

Signs and Symptoms

Emotional trauma may cause physical symptoms. It can cause persistent headaches, rashes, hair loss, ulcers, and other symptoms. Consider any incapacitating side effects if you’re being treated for emotional issues with prescription pharmaceuticals. Among the side effects are nausea, fatigue, and a loss of sexual drive.

What Can You Do To Get a Settlement

Trying to get an emotional distress settlement after an accident is not easy. You will have to be able to prove that the accident caused emotional distress. You must verify that the injury is severe enough to cause emotional pain. You also need evidence that the emotional distress was caused by an accident and not something else. This can be very hard to do independently, especially if you are not experienced in this area of law.

Hiring a car accident lawyer specializing in these cases is best to get a car crash distress settlement. A car accident lawyer can help you get more money for your claim than if you try it on your own. A good lawyer knows how much compensation you should receive, what evidence is needed, and how long it will take to resolve the case.

The most important thing about hiring an auto accident lawyer is that they know what evidence needs to be provided for them to win their case. They will know what questions need to be asked during depositions and trials so that there is no confusion about what happened during the accident or when talking with witnesses at the accident scene.

How to Deal with Emotional Injury After a Car Accident

Seek Help

If you’ve suffered emotional trauma from a car accident or other traumatic incident, consult a professional expert in trauma treatment. Consult a trauma specialist. This specialist can help you process your emotions better than a general practitioner.

Follow Through

Follow through on your treatment plan set by your doctor until all symptoms have subsided completely. If symptoms persist beyond what is considered “normal” recovery time, contact your doctor immediately so they can make adjustments accordingly.

Keep a Log

It is important to log your emotional state after the accident. Write down how you felt before and immediately after the accident. Make a note of any unusual behavior or changes in mood.

Using calendars or even smartphone apps designed for this purpose. Your attorney can use this information to determine the severity of your injuries and possible emotional compensation options.


Get the financial compensation you are legally entitled to after a vehicle accident. Don’t ignore your pain.

No one should deal with the trauma or aftereffects of a car crash alone. After sustaining bodily and mental harm in a car accident, victims usually seek a settlement. A mental injury can be just as debilitating as a physical one, so it’s important to know what percentage of the settlement will be allocated.

Find out what your legal options are by consulting an auto accident attorney. Hiring an attorney is the best way to ensure your rights are protected and you receive compensation.







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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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