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5 factors to establish emotional distress after a car accident

Not all damages after a car accident are quantifiable. Some losses are intangible and more complex to prove.

One of the noneconomic damages victims can recover compensation for is emotional distress, which often develops after a traumatic event. Depending on the severity of the crash, it can take different forms, such as anxiety and depression.

In worst cases, when symptoms – reliving the tragedy through recurring flashbacks, avoiding triggers associated with the collision and experiencing cognitive difficulties – persist for at least a month, the victim may be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Although these damages are unmeasurable, they hurt victims just as much as monetary losses. Thus, claimants must consider specific factors to prove their case. 

Proving emotional distress

The extent of emotional distress’ impact varies per person. For some, symptoms emerge right after the accident. But there are those experiencing them much later.

No matter when emotional distress manifests, victims must gather evidence that can demonstrate the following about their condition to receive fair compensation:

  • How intense it is
  • How long it has been hurting them
  • How it caused them bodily harm or physical injuries
  • What its underlying cause is
  • What the doctor’s diagnosis is

Aside from medical records, medication receipts or statements from their treating physicians, affected parties can also obtain witness testimonies detailing how the anguish disrupts their normal functioning at home, at work or in the community. They may also collect personal records, such as photos, videos or notes that can show their poor emotional and mental health.

Recovering their lives

Car crash victims enduring emotional distress must find the courage to disclose the magnitude of their hardships. Their legal counsel can work with them to substantiate their claim by looking for verifiable proof. Doing so can help them recover money for their bills and the life they had before the accident.


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