(301) 588-8100
July 10, 2023

Can You Get Money for Emotional Damages Following a Car Accident in MD?

Each day as we cruise along Maryland’s roads, we are barely cognizant of the silent pain that car accident victims endure. Often, we view car accidents from the lens of physical injuries, which, though traumatic, are visibly discernible. In contrast, emotional damages—a psychological toll that often surpasses physical harm—is harder to recognize and quantify.

Emotional Damages

Emotional damages, also known as non-economic damages or non-pecuniary damages, refer to the psychological and emotional harm suffered by an individual as a result of a traumatic event, such as a car accident. These damages are distinct from economic damages, which involve quantifiable financial losses, such as medical expenses or property damage.

Emotional damages, though less tangible than physical injuries, can be equally, if not more, debilitating for victims of traumatic incidents like car accidents. These damages take various forms, including emotional distress and mental anguish, which manifest through symptoms such as:

  • Insomnia or sleep disturbances
  • Anxiety and persistent worrying
  • Depression or prolonged sadness
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Fear or phobias related to driving or cars

These psychological and emotional after-effects can significantly deteriorate a victim’s quality of life, disrupting their everyday activities and interpersonal relationships.

Claiming Emotional Damages

Maryland’s personal injury laws recognize the legitimacy of emotional damages, providing victims the recourse to seek compensation. However, to make a successful claim, victims must substantiate their emotional distress. This proof often comes through:

  • Medical records documenting psychological treatment
  • Testimonies from mental health professionals
  • A demonstrable link between emotional distress and the accident

The claimant must establish that the defendant’s actions resulted in emotional distress, linking the accident directly to their emotional harm.

Factors Determining the Compensation for Emotional Damages

When it comes to determining the amount of compensation awarded for emotional damages in personal injury cases, several variables come into play. Here are some key factors that influence the calculation of compensation for emotional damages:

  • Severity and Duration of Emotional Distress: Courts take into account the intensity and persistence of the emotional harm suffered. For instance, a victim who experiences severe anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a direct result of a car accident may be eligible for higher compensation compared to someone who experiences milder emotional distress.
  • Accompanying Physical Harm: In some cases, emotional distress may be accompanied by physical injuries resulting from a car accident. The connection between physical harm and emotional distress is an important factor in determining compensation. If the emotional distress is directly linked to the physical injuries suffered, it strengthens the victim’s case for higher compensation. Medical records and reports that establish a correlation between physical injuries and emotional distress can be instrumental in supporting the claim for emotional damages.
  • Impact on Everyday Life: If the emotional damages significantly disrupt the individual’s ability to engage in usual activities, work, or relationships, it may warrant higher compensation. For instance, if the emotional distress leads to the loss of enjoyment of life, social isolation, or the inability to perform daily tasks, the victim may be entitled to compensation that reflects the impact on their overall well-being.
  • Medical Evidence and Expert Testimonies: Reports and testimonies from mental health professionals, such as psychiatrists or psychologists, can provide valuable insight into the victim’s condition and its relationship to the car accident. These professional opinions carry weight in court and can significantly bolster the victim’s claim for emotional damages.

By presenting comprehensive medical evidence, including diagnoses, treatment plans, and prognosis, the victim’s legal team can strengthen their case and support the claim for appropriate compensation.

Challenges and Limitations in Claiming Emotional Damages

Procuring compensation for emotional damages is not without its challenges. The burden of proof resides squarely with the claimant, necessitating concrete evidence of their emotional distress. Moreover, insurance companies routinely employ tactics aimed at minimizing or disputing emotional distress claims, adding a layer of complexity to the proceedings. Additionally, victims should be aware of Maryland’s contributory negligence law, which could bar recovery if the victim is found to bear any fault for the accident.

The Montero Law Group

Overcoming these hurdles requires legal representation. Here, Montero Law Group, a distinguished law firm specializing in personal injury cases in Maryland, can be a vital ally. Their seasoned Silver Spring lawyers possess the requisite knowledge and experience to effectively substantiate emotional damage claims, paving the way for victims to secure the compensation they rightfully deserve.

Securing compensation for emotional damage following a car accident can offer victims a means of redress, facilitating their journey toward healing. If you or a loved one find yourselves grappling with such an unfortunate circumstance in Maryland, seek professional legal counsel from Montero Law Group. Their expertise and dedication could be instrumental in converting silent suffering into a vocal proclamation of justice.