There is a lot to look at following a car accident to see what kind of damages you qualify for. You may have extensive vehicle repairs to make, or you may need to go to the hospital for months on end for treatments. However, you should never overlook the impact of emotional distress following an auto accident.
You can receive several forms of damages after a personal injury. Economic damages have specific, quantifiable amounts, and this would include medical bills and auto repairs. Emotional distress falls under non-economic damages because there is no way to quantify pain and suffering. Here are the basics of what to understand if you plan on pursuing a claim like this.
When you can sue for emotional distress
You can pursue an emotional distress claim even if you did not sustain any serious physical injuries. For example, you may have anguish if you feared for your safety during or after the collision. Additionally, you may have seen someone else suffer serious injury or die as a result of the crash. Additionally, there are cases where a defendant may defame your character in an attempt to get out of paying damages. This defamation can take a serious toll on your well-being, especially if it impacts your social life.
Limitations in California
California does have certain limitations on how and when you can pursue an emotional distress claim. For example, if you ultimately received a conviction for a DUI that stemmed from the crash, then California law prevents you from pursuing emotional distress claims against the other driver. Additionally, if you did not have insurance at the time of the crash, then emotional distress claims are off the table. There may be other circumstances that limit your ability to qualify for an emotional distress claim. You need to be aware of your options, so you get all the help you need following the car crash.