Physical injuries and vehicle damage are common consequences of car accidents in Atlanta. Both are often huge factors in a car accident claim—but emotions play a role too. Many car accident victims don’t realize it’s possible to seek compensation for emotional damages along with physical injuries. It depends on the details of the accident and whether or not physical injuries are present.
This article will cover what you need to know about making an injury claim for mental anguish after an Atlanta car accident.
How an Injury Claim for Mental Anguish is Different from Other Claims in Atlanta
There are two main types of damages in a personal injury claim:
- Special damages
- General damages
Special damages are tangible, calculable losses resulting from your accident. They include medical bills, lost wages, and vehicle repair costs. Most special damages can be proven through receipts, bills or pay stubs.
General damages, which encompass mental anguish, do not have a clear dollar amount. They refer to the emotional distress you face because of the accident. Since there is no clear way to calculate emotional distress, figuring out your damages for mental anguish is complicated.
In Atlanta, you must also have suffered a physical injury before you can include mental anguish damages in your injury claim, according to Georgia’s impact rule (There is one exception to this rule: If the negligent party’s conduct toward the plaintiff was malicious, wanton or willful, then recovery is possible without a physical injury).
What Mental Anguish Means After an Accident
Mental anguish is a type of damage related to emotional distress. It may include negative mental effects resulting from an accident.
Here are some common examples of mental anguish injuries:
- Trouble adjusting to life with serious injuries or disabilities stemming from an accident
- Anxiety, depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Humiliation resulting from your injuries, such as from scarring or disfigurement
- Fear, terror or panic
- Uncontrollable crying
These are conditions anyone may face after being in an accident in Atlanta. It doesn’t matter how strong or capable you are—everyone is human, and emotional damages are real and valid. Claiming mental anguish in your injury claim does not signal weakness. You deserve compensation for all damages so you can begin to recover and move on from the accident.
If you’re unsure whether your condition is considered mental anguish, call an Atlanta car accident lawyer. They can help you understand how your suffering fits into your injury claim and how to prove your damages beyond doubt.
How Mental Anguish Is Calculated in an Atlanta Injury Claim
No mental anguish claim is the same. The amount you can recover depends on factors like:
- How serious the accident was
- Your total accident damages
- The degree of fault (whether you hold no fault or partial fault)
- And often, whether or not you work with an experienced lawyer
Mental anguish is normally part of a pain and suffering claim, which can be worth a lot in most personal injury cases. Pain and suffering claims are based on how much the accident has affected your day-to-day life.
When insurance companies receive claims for mental anguish and other forms of pain and suffering, they typically use a number from one to five to assess the severity of your damages. They then take the sum of your special damages and multiply it by the number they assign your pain and suffering damages. This means a mental anguish claim can make your settlement double the amount or more.
How to Prepare for an Injury Claim for Mental Anguish in Atlanta
When making a claim for general damages like mental anguish, we advise contacting a car accident lawyer in Atlanta. Calculating these damages is hard to do without a solid legal background.
Also, insurance companies do not like to pay out a lot of money on claims. They know how much mental anguish can be worth, so they may look for ways to reduce your settlement or deny your claim. A lawyer can help uphold your rights and fight for the settlement you deserve.
Some other things you should do to legally protect yourself and build your claim include:
- Keeping notes about how the accident and your injuries have affected you mentally and emotionally
- Taking pictures of your injuries and any property damage you have suffered
- Seeing a doctor as soon as possible for your physical and emotional damages
- Keeping track of all expenses from your accident, including medical bills, lost wages, and vehicle repairs
- Staying in touch with your lawyer regularly and being honest about any changes in your condition or state of mind
Need Help with Your Mental Anguish Claim After an Accident?
At John Foy & Associates, we can help. Our car accident lawyers have been helping injury victims in Atlanta win the money they need for over 20 years. Starting as a small, local law office, we have grown to become one of the largest and most respected law firms in the state of Georgia. Plus, the consultation is always FREE. To schedule your own free consultation today, call (404) 400-4000 now.