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How Compensation for Emotional Distress After a Car Accident is Determined

by Nina Smith

We all know that emotional distress is a serious matter, that has the potential to cause long-term effects and sufferings, being problematic for one’s future well-being.  

What is Emotional Distress?

Emotional distress is a feeling of being displeased, annoyed, troubled and having a stressful emotional reaction, that is either caused by someone’s willful bad conduct or negligent behavior. Sometimes, it is even caused due to one’s own actions. It is a response to any accident in an emotional manner.

Emotional distress can also be caused through physical reasons. Such as:

  • Fracture / Broken Bone
  • Headaches
  • Body pain
  • Car accidents
  • Physical abuse
  • Stolen property
  • Property damages

Moreover, it can also be caused by non-physical reasons. Such as:

  • Verbal abuse
  • Cybercrime
  • Paranoid
  • Blackmailing
  • Insomnia
  • Threats.

These factors can potentially create or even give rise to the hazards of emotional distress.

Coverage of Emotional Distress

Source: premier.pr

Emotional distress is not easy to determine. It is a non-physical injury, related to psychology, which can be filed for a lawsuit according to law. Such lawsuits of emotional distress by law are considered valid.

The case can be presented in civil courts, where they do allow your lawyer to determine a monetary compensation, according to the emotional distress suffered. This amount has to be based on all the evidence, facts and figures presented, from which the jury feels the evidence is enough and reasonable. If the jury decides they are reasonable, then the monetary compensation shall be permitted to the emotional distress victim.

On the other hand, certain damages that are related to material. For example; property damages to your vehicle or even stolen property.

Materials which are the cause of an individual’s emotional distress. If that material is recovered, the victim can return back to the same emotional condition as they were before the accident. This type of reasoning can be easily compensated on a monetary basis. To learn more, visit this site.

In other words, for example; if your car is damaged and the damages are creating emotional distress, then financial compensations shall be granted to ease the emotional distress, based on the facts and figures presented.

Comparative Negligence

Source: mental-health-matters.com

The faults are also considered and calculated. If any accident, in which the victim is also somewhat involved and has become a motivating factor leading to emotional distress, then that will cause a decrease in the victim’s compensation. This comes under the comparative negligence law, where the proportionate faults of all the parties involved are considered and even calculated.

If it is calculated that an individual’s fault in the accident is 20%, then there will be a 20% reduction in the individual’s compensation. Check the johnston-lawfirm.com website to gain a sense of the claims, compensation and determining fault (to tell who is at fault in a car accident) in Oregon. There’s a lot of helpful information there that could give you some assurance.

Factors that Determines the Compensation for Emotional Distress

Source: flattmannlaw.com

There are certain factors that make it easy to determine the compensation for emotional distress. The proofs and evidence are itself the determining factors. Without some sort of proof and evidence, it is impossible to express any emotional distress and will be overruled by the court.

The possible evidence which can be presented before the jury, can be certain documentations, witnesses, lawyers and even professionals testifying the validity.

  • Documentations: The use of medical documentations such as previous and current medical records of diagnosis, reports, medical bills, doctors prescribed medicines, tests and even the documentations of on-going therapy sessions. These are highly supportive in order to avail any compensation necessary for emotional distress.
  • Witnesses: The compensation of the victim can also be determined through confirmation of the witnesses, as they come in handy. The more witnesses there are, who confirms the victims emotional distress behavior, the better. This helps the jury to understand the severity of the situation as well as the distress, making decisions accordingly. The witnesses can also provide first-hand information of the accident that resulted in emotional distress, if any bodily injuries are involved.
  • Professionals: This can be the ones who are treating the victim of emotional distress. They can be the doctors, psychologists and even the therapist, or whoever the one qualified, treating the victim. Also, other professionals who are not related to the victim at all, can be brought. They can possibly verify the emotional distress of the victim to be valid or invalid. This will help the jury and the judge to determine whether compensation should be granted to the victim or not.
  • Lawyers: They act on behalf of the victim and give them full support through-out. They collect all the in-depth evidence and facts from the above. Even try to collect first-hand information from various other sources and present them to the judge and jury, providing a convincing argument. Apart from this, are lawyers even able to determine whether the compensation for a particular emotional distress are suitable or not? Given the situation.
  • Jury: The jury itself is the biggest factor that will determine whether the emotional distressed victim should be given compensation or not. Their decision is based on the convincing evidence and facts that are presented by the above determinants. It can be problematic if these evidences are not enough.

How to Sue for Emotional Distress

Source: novusspinecenter.com

There are different approaches in order to sue for emotional distress. The cause of emotional distress is either deliberate or negligent. These 2 are approached differently when proceeding to sue for emotional distress.

  • Deliberate: When caused emotional distress on purpose.
  • Negligent: When caused emotional distress by carelessness and not intentional.

It is necessary to consult before doing so. There are even certain laws where emotional distress is not considered due to the absence of bodily injury.


Emotional distress needs to be taken seriously at all times, because leaving it as it is, can create long-term trauma and distort the well-being of any individual. If you are going through such unpleasant experiences and wondering how much can I sue for emotional distress, then it is recommended to consult with professionals before doing so.

These situations come with a lengthy process and are not easy to determine without proper evidence and law abidance. Failure to do so can lead to rejection by the civil court, causing further emotional impact on the victim.