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Suffering Emotional Distress Caused By a Car Accident? - An image of a woman in a car with negative energy.
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Suffering Emotional Distress Caused By a Car Accident? What to Do 

Author: Landyn A. Gautreau

It’s not unusual to experience emotional distress after a car accident. This can include severe anxiety, being unable to drive, being afraid to ride in a car, and having difficulty with everyday tasks. While this is scary and difficult, there are ways you can get compensation and support if you’ve experienced car accident emotional distress.

To help you determine what path is right for you, we’ll look at what emotional distress is and discuss emotional distress claims. We’ll also provide some tips and next steps for individuals experiencing emotional distress after a car accident.  

What is Emotional Distress 

According to Louisiana law, emotional distress is mental anguish or suffering caused by the negligent or intentional acts of others. Conditions like anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are types of emotional distress. 

Emotional distress has various impacts on your life, including an inability to complete everyday activities, avoiding cars or the area of the accident, insomnia, flashbacks to the accident, being upset by ordinary activities, and loss of enjoyment of life. 

Compensation for Car Accident Emotional Distress 

If you’re experiencing emotional distress after a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation. In most cases in Louisiana, courts award emotional distress damages only when there are also physical injuries. That said, there are some recent cases where emotional distress has been awarded in cases without physical injuries. 

Plaintiffs in emotional distress cases must demonstrate: 1) that they’ve suffered emotional distress; 2) that the defendant’s actions caused their emotional distress; and 3) the emotional distress has had a significant impact on their life, personally or financially.

Louisiana recognizes two types of emotional distress claims: negligent infliction of emotional distress, which happens when the defendant’s actions unintentionally led to your harm, and intentional infliction of emotional distress, which occurs when the Defendant’s reckless or intentional conduct led to your harm. 

You can recover medical costs, lost income, and compensation for your diminished quality of life in emotional distress cases.

Tips for Individuals Who Experience Emotional Distress After a Car Accident

As you might imagine, it’s harder to prove emotional distress claims than claims for physical injuries. However, our experienced team knows how to bring car accident emotional distress claims and knows how to get clients the compensation they deserve. 

Follow these tips for successfully bringing claims of emotional distress:

  • It’s important to document injuries. This should include medical reports and employment records. 
  • These cases are more likely to be successful when there are also substantial physical injuries. 
  • The passage of time supports your case. If significant time has passed from the accident and you continue to experience emotional distress, you’re more likely to be successful. 
  • Usually, a diagnosis of emotional anguish must happen after your accident. Emotional distress is harder to prove if you had the same or a similar diagnosis before the accident.
  • Witness testimony, showing how your mental anguish is impacting your life, can help to support your case. 

Contact the Saunders & Chabert Team

If you’re suffering emotional distress after a car accident, contact our team. We can evaluate your case and give you recommendations for next steps. We’re experienced in handling personal injury cases. 

Contact us at (225) 771-8100 to learn more or schedule a free consultation online

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