How do the courts value the cost of emotional distress in an injury case?

Are you experiencing emotional distress related to an injury or caused by your accident? If so, you are not alone. Developing anxiety, depression, changes in mood, or post-traumatic stress disorder from a traumatic incident or accident is more common than you might think. At first glance, emotional distress may seem like something that’s difficult to put a price tag on. But don’t worry. It can often be compensated through an injury claim.

How is emotional distress calculated?

  • General damages – the compensation you’re entitled to receive for things that do not have a clear price tag, such as your pain and suffering (e.g. emotional distress) from an injury.
  • Special damages – those things that are usually easier to calculate in an injury claim, such as your out-of-pocket expenses.

It is up to your lawyer to determine what the value of that distress may be to you under general and special damages. We’ll consider things like the cost of regular appointments with a psychologist or a client’s inability to work as a result of depression, anxiety, or PTSD. These numbers help us calculate or estimate how much you should receive in compensation.

Your medical records = evidence.

The first and most important thing is your health – get medical treatment right away and follow the advice of your doctor and other medical specialists that are part of your recovery. Not only will these treatment providers get you back on the road to better health, they also write reports and take notes on your injuries which may be important in getting you the compensation you deserve. Treatment notes and medical records are also important pieces of evidence. If you are struggling with anxiety or your relationships are suffering as a result of the emotional challenges caused by your injury, take notes of what you are experiencing. Write everything down. Be sure to include the date and time. If notebooks aren’t your thing, try using the handy notes section on your cellphone (you can even use voice to text!). Most importantly, you’ll want to share this information with your lawyer. Give us a call. Send us an email. This information can demonstrate how the injury has impacted your quality of life and have an impact on compensation.

Have anxiety about your anxiety?

It may be more difficult to prove that an accident caused emotional distress if you have already been diagnosed with an emotional disorder. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. For example, having anxiety doesn’t discount the fact that a traumatic accident or injury could have worsened your anxiety or caused post-traumatic stress disorder. You should talk openly with your lawyer about any preexisting conditions that you were experiencing before the accident. With this information, an injury lawyer can help build a strong case for any significant changes to your emotional wellbeing as a result of the injury. Your medical evaluation and reports, for example, may show that although you suffered from anxiety in the past, you developed post-traumatic stress disorder in direct correlation to the traumatic incident.

We’re here to reduce your stress.

At Litco Law, you get an entire team dedicated to your case. You’ll receive regular updates on your file, so you will never be left to wonder or worry about where your claim is at. We even have a registered social worker available for clients experiencing crisis or facing challenging situations. During this difficult time, we want you to be able to focus on your recovery.

Have questions? It won’t cost you anything to speak to a lawyer and, if you do choose to file a claim, you don’t pay us anything until your claim is resolved. We’re here for you.

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