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How to Prove Emotional Distress in an Auto Accident

Car Accidents
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Victims of car accidents often receive compensation for intangible effects of the collision, such as pain and suffering and emotional distress. Unlike economic losses such as medical expenses or time missed from work, these intangible effects can be challenging to prove and put into monetary terms.

Our knowledgeable Fort Walton Beach auto accident attorney explains how accident victims can prove the extent of their emotional distress.

Florida Applies a Strict Standard for Emotional Distress

People in Fort Walton Beach suffering from emotional distress are held to a stricter standard than those in many other jurisdictions. Under the state’s “physical impact rule,” victims must demonstrate a physical manifestation or direct impact to recover damages.

An attorney may easily satisfy this requirement when the victim was physically involved in a serious accident. However, if a family member suffered emotional distress caused by witnessing the accident, their loss may not be recoverable. To receive compensation for emotional distress in a situation where the person at fault did not physically harm the victim, the victim must show that the emotional distress caused actual physical distress.

Evidence That an Attorney Can Use to Prove Emotional Distress

When proving emotional distress, just like any element of a personal injury case, the key is often in the evidence. Your Fort Walton Beach auto accident lawyer will need to show that the collision was not just something that bothered you but also changed your life and left a physical impact.

Physical symptoms will be crucial. Records from physicians and therapists that show the physical effects of emotional distress can be beneficial. Keeping a diary of physical symptoms can help, as well as witness statements about physical effects observed by others. For instance, if emotional distress is preventing you from sleeping, you could record the times you are up during the night on successive nights and details about the turmoil that prevents you from sleeping.

Factors That Strengthen a Claim for Emotional Distress

An attorney can have an easier time proving emotional distress in some situations.  If an accident was obviously traumatic, for example, that could make it easier for a judge or jury to imagine a horrific emotional impact. If you have documented that your physical symptoms lasted for an extended period, that can also prove influential. Severe physical symptoms also strengthen a claim for emotional distress.

Our Attorney Will Evaluate Your Claim for Emotional Distress

Though it can be challenging to prove, emotional distress after a car accident is very real, and it can make it difficult for you to resume normal practices in your life for years to come. If you are suffering emotional distress after a car crash, talk to an experienced Fort Walton Beach auto accident attorney who can evaluate your case and explain your options. For a free consultation, call 888-549-7011 or contact us online.

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