In Georgia, state law allows injured accident victims to seek financial compensation not only for their physical and financial losses, but for emotional distress as well. Accidents often cause a great deal of emotional, mental and psychological anguish. If you were injured in a traumatic incident, such as a car accident or dog attack, find out how to prove emotional distress and obtain a fair financial recovery.
See a Psychologist
Unlike physical injuries, you will not have hard evidence to prove your emotional distress, such as x-rays or medical test results. Instead, your case will rely on intangible evidence. The best way to acquire this evidence is by seeing a mental health professional as soon as you notice the symptoms of emotional distress.
Schedule an appointment with a psychologist, where you can discuss your accident, injuries and how they have impacted your life. Everything you say to your psychologist will be held in confidence. A record proving your visits to a therapist can serve as evidence of emotional distress, as can a letter written by your psychologist on your behalf.
Keep an Injury Journal
Start an injury journal immediately after your personal injury accident. Write in your journal at least once per day with updates on your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. Leave nothing out of your injury journal. Describe your thoughts and feelings in detail.
Your injury journal or diary can serve as evidence of your mental state after the accident, giving a judge or jury insights into your personal life. This will help them fully and accurately understand how the accident impacted your mental health so they can calculate a fair noneconomic damage award.
Obtain Copies of Your Medical Records
The severity of your injuries will affect the amount you can receive in emotional distress damages. In general, if you have a serious or catastrophic injury that will impact you for life, your claim to emotional damages will be worth more than if you have a minor injury.
Ask for copies of your relevant medical records from your doctor to establish the severity of your physical injuries and/or debilitation. You can also provide photos to demonstrate physical scarring or disfigurement. Providing medical records and photographs can prove the extent of your tangible losses to stake a higher claim to intangible losses.
Have Witnesses Sign Statements
The people who are closest to you have most likely seen the emotional impact an accident has had on you, such as your inability to participate in your normal activities as a friend, parent or spouse. Obtaining signed statements from your friends and family members regarding your mental and emotional state after an accident can help you establish this type of loss.
Hire Experts to Testify On Your Behalf
Testimony from qualified expert witnesses can also help you prove emotional distress in a personal injury claim. An expert witness is someone with a large amount of experience and knowledge in a particular subject, such as an accident victim’s mental health. Relevant experts your attorney may hire to help you prove emotional distress include psychologists, therapists and physicians.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
You do not have to take on the responsibility of proving emotional distress in a personal injury claim on your own. You have the right to hire a personal injury lawyer in Atlanta, Georgia to represent you. Your lawyer will have years of experience proving many different types of noneconomic losses, including:
- Emotional distress
- Mental anguish
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Lost quality of life
- Suicidal thoughts or actions
A lawyer can take action to prove emotional distress and fight for maximum financial compensation on your behalf. A lawyer can also negotiate with an insurance company or take your case to trial in Atlanta, if necessary. Learn more about bringing an emotional distress claim by contacting Hilley & Frieder today.