Can You Sue For Emotional Distress After A Dallas Car Accident?
Car accidents can result in serious and life-altering physical injuries like Traumatic Brain Injuries, scrapes, bruises, broken bones, lost limbs, disfigurement, and more. More subtle, however, are the non-physical harms like emotional distress and loss of enjoyment in life. Still, these damages are direct effects of the car wreck and ought to be compensated by the at-fault driver.
At Pintas & Mullins, a Dallas car accident law firm, , our attorneys work to get you and your family a compensation package that includes the totality of the value of your harms. We gather evidence of your damages, obtain testimony from expert witnesses when necessary, negotiate with opposing counsel, work with insurance company agents, file your lawsuit with the court, and handle all of the other aspects of your case. By having a skilled attorney on your team, you increase the likelihood of getting a positive outcome and lower your risk of making significant mistakes in the handling of a claim.
My Damages Include Harms to My Whole Person
As we have seen, the court system is set up to compensate victims of car wrecks for all of their damages and not merely the physical aspect of the injuries. Generally, your damages will be split into two categories: economic and non-economic.
Economic Harms in My Claim
The economic harms present in your claim include all of the damages that have a clear, objective monetary value. They affect your financial situation and often come with bills or receipts. Examples of economic harms you may experience include the cost of your medical care, the cost of repairing your vehicle, lost wages and earning capacity, and similar issues. For medical economic damages, you are limited in recovering the exact amount you paid or were billed, per Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code §41.0105.
Non-Economic Harms in My Claim
The other type of damage you may experience and seek compensation for is non-economic harm. This is the category that contains the value of your emotional distress. Other forms of non-economic damage include physical pain, changes in personality following an injury, loss of enjoyment in life, loss of consortium with a spouse, and similar ills. Not only can you sue for these kinds of damages, but there is no limit to the amount a jury may award for your non-economic damages in Dallas!
In some cases that involve especially egregious behavior on the part of the at-fault driver, the jury may decide to award additional compensation for exemplary damages. This is rarely done, but it may be a possibility that your attorney can work toward by explaining the heinousness of the at-fault driver’s actions.
Finding Evidence of My Emotional Distress
It is common for people to think that emotional, subjective harms cannot possibly be proven in court. However, that is false. There are many ways to show a judge or jury the extent of psychological, emotional, and even spiritual impacts that an accident has had on you. Since these kinds of harms have no concrete bills or receipts associated with them, usually, finding evidence may require more work for your attorney.
Testimony from Witnesses
Friends and family members may be able to testify on your behalf, telling the court about the way that you have changed, emotional turmoil they have seen you suffer, stories of helping you through difficult periods after your accident, etc. This helps to establish the seriousness of your mental and physical suffering.
Testimony from Experts
Another way to provide evidence of the value of your emotional distress is by bringing expert witnesses into court. These are typically specialists in the relevant areas, such as therapists or experts in the types of injuries that you sustained in your wreck. Such experts may be able to show the court the monetary value of your non-economic damages by discussing previous compensation packages awarded in similar cases and by elaborating on the specific details of your turmoil.
Testimony from Me
The best person to discuss the way that your injury has impacted you is: you! After discussing the issue with your Dallas car accident lawyer, you may wish to take the stand and tell the jury about your suffering. Combined with the above testimonies, this can be a powerful tool.
Other Forms of Evidence for My Damages
Finally, you can show proof of your damages by providing a wide range of items to the court. Medical bills, statements from employers regarding time missed from work, car repair bills, physician testimony, photos or videos of the injury, and many more items can show the extent of the harm you suffered.
Once these have been established, the goal of you and your attorney will be to show that the other driver was responsible for your damages. Texas uses a system of proportionate responsibility that allows you to recover damages as long as you are no more than 50% to blame for your wreck. Whatever percentage of blame is assigned to you, as long as it is not more than 50%, will be subtracted from your compensation package.
For example, if you suffer $100,000 in total damages and are 25% responsible for the crash, your total compensation will be $75,000.
I Can Get a FREE Consultation
Dallas Car Accident Lawyers offers clients a FREE consultation to discuss the merits of your claim. Also, we do not collect a fee unless we win you the compensation you deserve.
To get your free consultation, fill out the form on our contact page or call us at (214) 305-8277.