You can sue for emotional distress in Florida after a car accident if it was due to someone else’s negligent or reckless actions. This pain can be difficult to prove, unlike physical damage such as a broken arm or sprained neck. Nonetheless, the law has provisions to allow victims of emotional distress to get restitution from their would-be aggressors.
The American Psychological Association (APA) notes that emotional distress can yield more harm in some cases than physical injuries. Traumatic events caused by another person’s negligence can leave you anxious, depressed, or even unable to sleep. You can hold the liable party accountable for your emotional distress based on the facts of your case.
In This Article
- Emotional Distress Falls Under Non-Economic Damages
- Determining Your Amount Of Compensation For Emotional Distress
- What Is The Impact Rule In Florida?
- Emotional Distress And Physical Pain
- Accidents That Can Lead To Emotional Distress
- Statute Of Limitations For A Personal Injury Case In Florida
- Contact The Law Offices Of Anidjar & Levine For Legal Counsel
Emotional Distress Falls Under Non-Economic Damages
Suing for emotional distress depends on exactly what happened to you and who is to blame. For example, if you were injured in a car accident and another driver was at fault, you could file a claim for both economic and non-economic damages.
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Economic damages are easily calculable as a result of an accident that was not your fault. They can be tabulated using bills, receipts, and items you paid for related to your accident. These include:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Loss of income
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Property damage
- Other out-of-pocket costs
Emotional distress falls under non-economic damages. These represent the physical and emotional toll the accident has had on your life and can include:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of activities
You can sue for emotional distress after a car accident in Florida based on the unique facts of your case. A personal injury lawyer who handles these types of cases can gather evidence and build a strong case to support your claim for compensation.
Determining Your Amount of Compensation for Emotional Distress
Economic damages have a set dollar value in many cases. For example, the compensation you receive for your medical expenses usually comes directly from the bills sent by your healthcare provider. Your legal team simply tracks these expenses while working on your claim.
However, emotional distress does not have a clear-cut value in accident claims. So, how do you know how much compensation to request for these losses?
Insurance companies and the court system may use several different methods to calculate your non-economic losses, which include the costs for your emotional distress. Our team understands these methods and can discuss the specific one used in your claim when you contact us.
What Is the Impact Rule in Florida?
Florida has a longstanding law known as the Impact Rule, which dates back to 1893. In Florida, the Supreme Court ruled that someone claiming infliction of emotional anguish due to another party’s negligence has the burden of proof that their emotional distress came from physical impact.
There are exceptions to this rule, such as:
- If the plaintiff was at an accident scene when a close family member was injured,
- The emotional distress came about after witnessing an accident, and
- If the plaintiff was close to an accident victim
The above exceptions make it possible to recoup damages for emotional pain even when you did not suffer physical harm from the incident. However, your lawyer must prove you endured a physical response as a direct result of the emotional distress. For instance, experiencing flashbacks and nightmares after witnessing an accident where a loved one was harmed may result in heart palpitations.
Emotional Distress and Physical Pain
No matter how difficult it is to prove emotional anguish after a car accident in Florida, there’s no denying that it has adverse effects on a person. In addition to mental strain and a plethora of psychological consequences, emotional distress can trigger many other problems, including:
- Anxiety and depression
- Joint pain
- Impaired memory
- Shame and humiliation
- Unexplained weight changes
- Compulsive obsessive disorders
Your lawyer can describe the mental anguish you have experienced as a result of another party’s negligent or reckless behavior. You should not continue to suffer alone. If you are experiencing emotional distress through no fault of your own, you should be able to hold the at-fault party responsible for your damages.
Other Types of Accidents That Can Lead to Emotional Distress
Along with car accidents, almost any accident in Florida could cause you to experience emotional distress. You may feel upset in the immediate aftermath of an accident or develop feelings of anguish and unease over time as you recover.
Many people experience emotional distress following:
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Motor vehicle accidents frequently happen throughout Florida. They often occur suddenly and without warning. After head-on, rear-end, and side-impact collisions, many drivers feel increased anxiety when they have to get behind the wheel again.
In some situations, higher levels of anxiety make it difficult for individuals to get around. They may experience unease and nerves even when trying to go to work.
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An attack by a dog or another animal can easily lead to increased anxiety, fear, and emotional distress. Many dog bites involve young children, which may increase the odds of emotional trauma. Many people require therapy to recover from the emotional effects of an animal attack.
Slip and Fall Accidents
Slipping and falling in public may lead to feelings of embarrassment along with injuries and pain. Many people feel uneasy after a serious fall and may worry about the safety of visiting various locations around their city.
Medical Malpractice Injuries
We turn to medical professionals for help when we feel ill or sustain an injury. Unfortunately, some healthcare providers fail to provide proper care in these situations. Instead, they can make things worse through acts of medical malpractice.
Experiencing injuries at the hands of someone who should provide you with relief can lead to stress, anxiety, and other forms of emotional upset. Fortunately, a lawyer can help you address these losses so you can move forward with your claim.
Statute of Limitations For a Personal Injury Case in Florida
It’s important to note Florida limits the amount of time you have to file a personal injury lawsuit. According to Florida Statutes § 95.11(3)(a), you have four years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. If your loved one died as a result of the incident, you have our deepest condolences. In that case, you have two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit, per Florida Statutes § 95.11(4)(d).
Our Attorneys Work On Contingency
An attorney from our law firm can ensure you do not miss any critical deadlines in your case and compromise your opportunity to seek compensation for your emotional distress. You will pay nothing upfront or out-of-pocket.
Our lawyers work on a contingency-fee basis. That means you pay us nothing to work on your case. Our fee comes out of an agreed-upon percentage of the settlement or court award we win for you.
We focus on all aspects of your claim when you reach out to us for help. Receiving any compensation generally requires your lawyer to show that someone else caused your accident. We take immediate steps to establish liability for your claim by:
- Interviewing witnesses
- Going over the police report
- Visiting the scene of the accident
- Working with experts
Find out more about all your options today with a firm that puts you first and considers your unique needs. Allow us to answer your questions. You can also view our client testimonials to get an idea of what it’s like to work with our firm.
Contact the Law Offices Of Anidjar & Levine For Legal Counsel
Are you suffering from emotional anguish due to a Florida car accident caused by someone else’s negligence? The Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can help. When you reach out to us, you’ll have your designated attorney’s contact details, prompt responses to your queries, and frequent case updates to put your mind at ease. Our clients can focus on their recovery while we handle everything else. Complete our online contact form or call us for a free consultation with a team member today.
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