Emotional distress is the psychological pain and suffering an injury victim endures due to an adverse experience and the memory of that experience. A person might have emotional distress as a result of an auto accident, a fall, a dog bite, or another type of personal injury accident.
When a victim seeks compensation in a New York personal injury claim or lawsuit, current and future emotional distress is a recoverable item of damage. This is a part of the non-economic recovery available to injury victims, sometimes accompanying other expenses, such as scarring, disfigurement, and disability. During this challenging time, you could entrust your case to a personal injury lawyer and focus solely on your recovery.
- Understanding Non-Economic Damages in Personal Injury Cases
- How Do I Show My Emotional Distress in a Claim or Lawsuit?
- How Do I Recover Compensation for Emotional Distress?
- Work With an Attorney to Recover Compensation for Your Losses
- Discuss Your Personal Injury Case With Our Team for Free
Understanding Non-Economic Damages in Personal Injury Cases
When someone acts negligently and causes another to suffer injuries, expenses, and losses, the victim experiences both economic and non-economic damages. That is, they have both financial costs and intangible ones.
The financial expenses and losses are usually easy to identify. There are medical bills, receipts, and other documentation of current costs. Victims may also rely on experts and research to show their likely future related expenses if there are any. For example, many people require future or ongoing medical care for serious injuries. Medical experts and economists could help them estimate these costs.
When it comes to the non-economic damages, though, calculations are more difficult. These losses are intangible by their very nature. They include the emotional and mental toll a serious accident and injuries take on the victim. This pain and suffering includes emotional distress, diminished quality of life, physical pain, and more.
Emotional Distress Is Compensable in These Incidents
Emotional distress is compensable in many personal injury cases including, but not limited to:
- Car accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Birth injuries and other instances of medical malpractice
- Construction accidents
- Dog bites
- Motorcycle accidents
- Nursing home abuse
- Premises liability incidents, such as slips and falls
- Truck accidents
- Rideshare accidents involving Uber and Lyft vehicles
- Wrongful death
How much you could recover for emotional distress depends on the details of your situation, including the extent of your injury and its effects on your life.
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How Do I Show My Emotional Distress in a Claim or Lawsuit?
You must document your damages when seeking compensation in a personal injury case. This is the only way to recover an appropriate payout through insurance negotiations or at trial. While this is fairly straightforward with economic damages, many people wonder how to show the emotional distress and other pain and suffering they endured.
A good way to do this is to work with a personal injury lawyer familiar with these cases. Your lawyer will have the knowledge, experience, and resources necessary to document your range of recoverable damages using:
- Your relevant medical records
- Medical bills, receipts for expenses, and other paperwork
- Evidence to show your missed time from work
- Expert witness testimony, such as from healthcare providers
Your attorney will know how to use this evidence to estimate a possible value for your case, including for your non-economic damages. This may feel difficult or impossible to do accurately on your own without legal representation. Your lawyer will have the necessary knowledge of similar cases and techniques used to estimate the value of your losses.
How Do I Recover Compensation for Emotional Distress?
Recovering compensation for emotional distress should be a part of your personal injury case regardless of how you pursue damages. These cases, when successful, generally end with a negotiated settlement with the liable insurance carrier.
Sometimes, negotiating with the insurer does not make the necessary headway toward getting an appropriate payout, so a lawsuit is necessary. This does not necessarily mean the case will go to trial. Things to keep in mind include:
- Filing a lawsuit is the first step in preparing a case for trial.
- Most lawsuits never go before a jury.
- Commencing a lawsuit is often necessary to create a form of financial pressure and a greater sense of urgency and importance to the at-fault party’s insurance carrier
- Settlement negotiations usually continue throughout this process.
- A lawsuit might make the insurer offer a better settlement agreement.
- A settlement could occur through mediation or another alternative dispute resolution before the trial date arrives.
- Your attorney will take the case to trial if it is in your best interests to do so.
There are deadlines for suing the at-fault party or parties in personal injury cases. Under New York Civil Practice Laws & Rules § 214, you must meet these deadlines or risk losing the option of taking the case to trial. Waiting too long to act could prevent you from recovering appropriate compensation for your emotional distress and other damages. (Please take note that some types of claims have a shorter statute of limitations as well as other critical deadlines in addition to the one set forth in the statute linked above. This is why a case review with a dedicated personal injury lawyer, experienced in successfully handling emotional distress claims, is so important.)
Work With an Attorney to Recover Compensation for Your Losses
Having a personal injury attorney on your side handling your case could help ensure you are appropriately compensated for your emotional distress. They will fight for the money you need and deserve based on your case’s facts.
When you hire a personal injury law firm, its lawyers will:
- Update you on your case regularly
- Identify all potentially liable parties
- Manage all communication with the other parties
- Investigate your incident and gather evidence to document what happened
- Make sure all deadlines are met in a timely and technically appropriate manner
- Determine a value for your case, including non-economic losses
- Fight relentlessly to win the best possible case outcome for you
Your attorney will manage all aspects of your case. From your free initial consultation through the day your case ends, they will represent your best interests. You could focus on healing and returning to your normal activities (if possible) while they take care of the rest.
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Discuss Your Personal Injury Case With Our Team for Free
Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. represents victims hurt by others’ carelessness or recklessness. Our attorneys are passionate advocates for the injured. We will fight for the best possible outcome in your case, seeking appropriate compensation for your damages.
Our initial case consultations are always free. We have a multilingual staff ready to discuss your case in a language besides English if necessary. This includes Spanish, Greek, Bengali, Tamil, and Kannada. We meet people on Long Island or elsewhere in the New York City metropolitan area.
Call to connect with our team today. Get your free case assessment and learn how we recover financial expenses, losses, and emotional distress for our clients.