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Mental Trauma and Car Accidents

Written by Jared Staver

Read Jared's Bio

Jared Staver is a Personal Injury Lawyer based in Chicago, Illinois and has been practicing law for over 20 years.

Jared Staver

CATEGORY: Auto Accidents, Personal Injury


Car accidents can be very traumatic events for the people involved. Drivers and passengers may suffer severe physical injuries and require extensive medical treatment – even long-term rehabilitation. However, the psychological injuries a car accident victim may experience could be equally debilitating.

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation for both your physical injuries and the emotional distress you’ve suffered. Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C., P.C., has experienced lawyers who can help you with your claim and get the compensation that you may be entitled to.

Damages for Mental Anguish

When a person files a personal injury claim, including car accident cases, a court or jury will award damages if it finds the defendant liable for the accident. Damages are the amount of money awarded to compensate a person for losses and harm they’ve suffered because of someone else’s reckless conduct or negligence. There are two kinds of damages possible: economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include the costs of medical treatment, loss of income or earnings, and other personal property losses. However, mental anguish and pain and suffering fall under the non-economic category.

There are different kinds of mental trauma that may be caused by a car accident and these psychological and emotional injuries can severely impact a person’s quality of life. They may include the loss of enjoyment due to extensive hospitalization or recovery, the impact of being reliant on others for a period of time for daily personal care, panic attacks, and severe long-term conditions such as anxiety disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder. Treatment may include medication, psychotherapy, and even long-term rehabilitative care.

Proving the Amount of Damages for Emotional Distress

Like with all damages, the court will require you to provide evidence of your mental injuries in order to assign a value to the monetary award you will receive. Some damages are easier to prove, such as physical injuries and property losses. Damages for emotional distress are more difficult to prove, and supporting evidence may include the following:

  • Testimony from mental health providers. If you have been seeing a licensed professional counselor, psychologist, or psychiatrist, they may be able to provide written or oral testimony regarding your mental and emotional condition for the court.
  • Prescription medication. You should create a list of prescription medication that you take for mental conditions you acquired after the accident, such as anti-anxiety or depression medication.
  • Testimony from friends, family, and other acquaintances. Oral or written accounts from your loved ones stating how they have observed your mental and emotional state after your car accident may serve as evidence of damages for psychological injuries. Additionally, objective sources such as your employer, neighbors, and other acquaintances may also provide compelling testimony to support your claim.

Contact an Experienced Lawyer

If you’ve been injured in a car accident in the Chicago area, you need an experienced personal injury lawyer who will advocate for your right to compensation for your injuries. Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C., P.C., has dedicated attorneys with decades of combined experience helping people in Chicago with their personal injury claims.

To speak with a compassionate and reliable attorney regarding your case and your legal options, call us at (312) 236-2900 for a free, initial consultation. Our attorneys will take the time to listen to the unique circumstances of your case and help you determine the best strategy for getting the compensation you deserve.

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(312) 236-2900
(312) 236-2900
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