Have you been injured in a car accident in Phoenix, AZ, because of someone else’s negligence? You probably already know that you are entitled to compensation for vehicle damage, medical bills and lost wages. These things are economic damages. You may have heard about mental distress and you may want to know if you can compensated for that as well. Mental distress or anguish falls under the category of pain and suffering, a type of non-economic damages.
You can collect damages for the mental anguish caused by a car accident. However, you should know that these are typically only awarded in cases of severe injuries. The amount you can get in compensation varies widely depending on the circumstances of your case. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the issues surrounding claims for mental distress. For specific information on your case, contact a Phoenix auto accident lawyer.
What Car Accident Attorneys in Phoenix Know About Claims for Mental Distress
Mental distress refers to when an accident causes you torment, depression, anxiety, insomnia or memory loss. As you can imagine, this is not as easy to quantify as economic damages. However, you can still get compensation if your Phoenix car accident attorney can prove that you suffered distress. In order for your claim for compensation to be valid, you must also prove that:
- The anguish can prolong
- The defendant’s actions caused the distress
- The distress has effects on physical injuries
Your lawyer will want to gather as much evidence as possible to support your claim. This will include medical records, photos of your injuries, your prognosis and current and future treatment. A personal journal detailing your mental and emotional state can also strengthen your claim. With this information in hand, your lawyer will then draft a letter to the defendant’s insurance company asking for damages. This letter will outline your injuries and mental state. If negotiations with the insurance companies don’t result in a settlement, you may have to go to court.
How Your Phoenix Auto Accident Lawyer Will Help You Prove Mental Anguish
As previously noted, it is not enough to simply say that your car accident caused you distress. Insurance companies and juries will try to determine how valid your claim is. They will look at:
- The intensity of your mental distress
- The severity of your physical pain
- The underlying reason for your pain
- What your doctor says about your mental condition
In addition to your medical records, witnesses may also be called upon to testify about your condition. Friends, co-workers and family members may be asked to share their views on how the accident has affected you. They may relate how your mental state seems to have changed since you were hurt. Your Phoenix auto accident lawyer may also call experts to testify about how accidents such as yours can impact victims.
Compensation You Can Get for Mental Anguish
Since mental anguish is so personal, there are no hard and fast guidelines for how much compensation should be awarded. However, more severe injuries will result in higher damages. Once it is proven that you are owed compensation for mental distress, there are two common methods of calculating damages. They are the multiplier method and the per diem method.
Car accident attorneys in Phoenix will discuss which method best suits your case. The multiplier method involves multiplying your economic damages by a number between 1 and 5. The number chosen depends on the severity of your injuries, the type of suffering you experienced and its duration. The per diem method applies a monetary amount to each day you’ve suffered. It begins from the date of your injury. The amount of compensation depends on the value associated with activities which you missed because of your distress. Your lawyer may choose the calculation method based on previous verdicts in similar cases.
Factors Which Can Bar You from Getting Compensation
It is important that you contact your Phoenix car accident attorney as soon as possible after your crash. He will be able to advise you on the things which can put your claim in jeopardy. For example, in Arizona, you can’t recover damages if you intentionally caused or contributed to your injury. There is also a two-year statute of limitations in place for personal injury claims arising from car accidents. If you don’t file your claim in time, the courts will dismiss it.
Contact a Phoenix Car Accident Attorney Today!
Call the Phoenix car accident attorneys at Warnock MacKinlay Law in Phoenix, AZ as soon as possible. They will listen to the details of your case and determine whether you have a valid claim for mental distress. If so, they will work hard to file your case on time. They will get you the compensation you deserve after your traumatic experience.