When people think about damages they could recover after an accident, they often remember that they can recover for “economic” damages such as the cost of necessary medical care, damages to your vehicle if damaged, lost present and future earnings, lost earning potential, and other property damage. These damages often have direct proof and documentation to substantiate claims for reimbursement.
A type of damages that people often overlook is “non-economic” damages, which includes loss of enjoyment of life, permanent disfigurement, or emotional injuries. Oftentimes to recover for emotional injuries, they must cause long-term injury that has manifested itself in your everyday life. Because of the nature of emotional injuries, they are not often supported by direct proof. That being said, there is no overarching definition for emotional injuries as they are subjective and vary from person to person. It is, therefore, important to understand factors that may affect whether a court will award you emotional damages after an accident.
Types of Emotional Injuries
Emotional injuries often manifest themselves in ways felt by the victim and observable to others on a regular basis. Some common types of emotional injuries include post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, sleep loss, or fear. Some more isolated behaviors such as crying fits, extreme fright, or humiliation may also constitute an emotional injury.
Keeping a Record of Your Emotional Injuries
As mentioned above, there is relatively little possible documentation for emotional injuries when compared to economic damages such as medical bills. Accordingly, it is helpful if the accident victim documents their own emotional distress that has resulted from an accident. Specifically, the victim should tell a doctor about any emotional symptoms they are suffering from. Additionally, they should document for themselves the progression of any psychological symptoms they suffer from. This could be in the form of a journal or daily notes and should include a description of what symptoms they have suffered from since the accident and how the accident has affected their daily routine.
Extent of Emotional Injury
The severity of your psychological symptoms suffered as a result of the accident may also have a bearing on what amount of emotional damages you may recover. Specifically, people who can show their emotional injury is repeated, ongoing, and affecting their routine will be able to make a stronger case for damages. It is also important to note that while any pre-existing psychological conditions the victim might have suffered from prior to the accident will not necessarily bar recovery for symptoms after the accident, it is helpful to definitively separate out the psychological symptoms directly caused by the accident in question.
Reach Out To Us For Assistance
After experiencing an accident in Florida, one of the first questions people ask is: what damages could I recover? Economic damages are often the first type of damages that come to mind, which include medical bills, lost wages, and property damage. However, it is important to note that you may be entitled to receive substantial non-economic damages as well, including damages for emotional injuries. The experienced West Palm Beach personal injury attorneys at Lesser, Lesser, Landy & Smith, PLLC can help you determine what economic and emotional damages you could be entitled to for your specific case. Contact us today for a free consultation.