If you suffered serious injuries in a Pennsylvania car accident that resulted from another party’s negligence, you might have grounds to recover the damages you sustained. You deserve compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and even emotional distress and trauma. However, the latter claim might be challenging to navigate.
Following such an incident, paranoia and anxiety can become debilitating, and pursuing compensation through the legal theory of emotional distress is your right. Although it might not be physically evident to the court, you could be suffering nightmares, flashbacks, anxiety and even hysteria, which might cause headaches, nausea and more.
What to consider
For a successful claim for mental stress and trauma, specific circumstances must be present. You must consider the following before you add this to your documented claims for damages:
- How severe were your physical injuries? It is unlikely for you to recover damages for mental distress and trauma if there is no evidence of physical injuries as well. It is typical for extreme physical trauma to cause emotional distress, rather than a causal connection between the trauma and the accident.
- What are the physical consequences of your stress? If your distress caused the development of a physical condition such as chronic headaches or stomach ulcers it might be easier to prove the existence of mental stress and trauma.
- Does your condition require medical treatment? As with any other personal injury claims, medical documentation is essential, so discuss your psychological symptoms with your doctor. Because assessing emotional injuries is such a challenge, documented details about your mental condition and treatment is vital as you attempt to prove it to the court.
- Statute of limitations: When did the accident that caused your mental stress occur? You will have a limited period in which you must bring your claim to a Pennsylvania civil court.
What is your case worth?
It might be a good idea to seek the support and guidance of an experienced Pennsylvania personal injury attorney before taking steps to claim compensation for mental distress and trauma. A lawyer can assess the circumstances and determine the value of the recovery that you might receive if there is a monetary judgment. The energy, time and costs of a civil lawsuit can be significant, and the attorney can protect you from pursuing a lawsuit for which the potential recovery might not be worth the effort.