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The Physical, Emotional and Financial Effects of a Car Accident

A car accident can disrupt a person’s entire way of life. Physical injuries may make it difficult to work and enjoy activities that used to be commonplace. Too often, victims and their loved ones focus on the physical injuries that stem from an accident while not giving enough attention to the emotional and financial fallout of a personal injury accident.

When you’re injured, you may receive financial compensation for all of your injuries. The attorneys from our Elite Litigation Group explain.

Impact of a Car Accident on Victims

A car accident may cause significant physical, emotional and financial effects. In fact, an accident’s emotional and mental impact can change a person’s life activities as much as physical injuries. Both physical and emotional damages need attention and treatment. Financial compensation exists in order to compensate a person fairly for their monetary losses as well as their physical and emotional suffering from an accident.

What Qualifies As Physical Damages?

Physical damages are the damages relating to a bodily injury. Many economic damages stem from physical damages. They may include:

  • Ambulance bills
  • Emergency response and care
  • Stabilization measures including surgery, medications and medical supplies
  • The cost of doctors, specialists, nursing care, nurse’s assistant care
  • Surgery
  • Diagnostic testing like scans, MRIs and the like
  • Mobility devices like wheelchairs, scooters and crutches
  • Boots and casts
  • Hospitalization expenses
  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • The cost associated with travel to medical care
  • Home modifications, if needed
  • Outpatient and in-home nursing care
  • Follow-up care
  • Pain and suffering

Physical damages are any losses that you have relating to your physical injuries. There are other kinds of financial losses that aren’t specifically a part of physical damages, like lost wages and destruction of personal property. However, physical damages are those losses relating only to physical injuries.

Pain and Suffering as a Physical Damage

Pain and suffering is a type of non-economic damages. That is, it can’t be measured with a dollar amount to a certain sum. However, pain and suffering is very much a type of physical damages.

Physical injuries are painful. The pain that a person endures is significant and deserving of compensation. Although it is categorized as non-economic, pain and suffering results from physical injuries. It may be included as a measure of loss as part of a personal injury claim.

What Qualifies As Emotional Damages?

Emotional damages are the mental anguish and suffering that go along with a person’s physical injuries. It can’t be measured by sight, but it is real suffering that occurs to the victim’s well-being and state of mind. Emotional damages are distinct from physical pain. Anyone who has been in a serious accident can tell you that the emotional fallout, recovery and adjusting to a new normal can be every bit as challenging as the physical injuries themselves.

Here are some examples of emotional damages:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety/fear
  • Flashbacks
  • Feelings of humiliation, embarrassment or loneliness
  • Shock
  • Fatigue
  • Changes in appetite
  • PTSD
  • Loss of motivation and the inability to complete daily tasks

Emotional damages can sometimes produce physical effects. For example, a person with depression, anxiety or fear may suffer from headaches or sensitivity to loud noises. A change in appetite can lead to weight loss or gain.

How Does a Car Accident Affect You Emotionally?

A car accident affects you emotionally by changing your sense of security and routine. Suffering from injuries may mean that you’re no longer able to pursue activities you used to enjoy or earn a living. This change may be devastating to feelings of self-worth and purpose.

You may also become fearful that you’re going to be in another accident. A car accident is a sudden jarring of your life, stability and routine. How it affects you emotionally may vary, but emotional damages may be severe and disrupting.

Is Emotional Distress Considered Personal Injury?

Yes, emotional distress is personal injury. Emotional distress is a natural and predictable fallout of suffering from a physical injury. Therefore, it is a part of a personal injury claim.

With some exceptions, in order to qualify to receive emotional distress damages, the victim must have incurred some kind of actual physical injury. A close call or near miss is not sufficient to be eligible for emotional distress for personal injury.

What Qualifies As Financial Damages?

Financial damages are any kind of financial loss or failure to earn income that accompanies a physical injury. Medical damages are one kind of financial injury. Overall, financial damages are the direct monetary fallout that a person sustains because of the accident.

It’s easy for a victim to miss recognizing financial losses if they’re not aware of all of the types involved. Any kind of monetary loss, direct or indirect, stemming from a bill or a failure to earn income because of the injuries, qualifies as financial damages for a personal injury claim.

Which Is Worse, Physical Pain or Emotional Damage?

From a personal injury perspective, both physical pain and emotional damages are serious, valid injuries. Both types of suffering are worthy of compensation. In fact, compensation for physical pain and emotional damages may even exceed monetary damages in some cases.

What damages you receive depends on what your actual suffering is. For pain and suffering compensation, you may need to show how your injuries produce physical pain and how long you expect to endure the physical pain associated with the accident.

Similarly, you may need to present evidence of your mental health injuries and how they impact your life. You do this through mental health treatment providers and your own journaling of symptoms. Your personal injury attorney can help you prepare and present information regarding physical pain and emotional damage.

Compensation for Physical, Emotional and Financial Damages

When you suffer from a personal injury after a car accident, it’s essential to look at the entire case holistically. Your physical injuries are only one part of your losses. The law allows you to identify all of the ways that your life is impacted by the accident and claim fair compensation. Our attorneys for car accident injuries can help you claim the physical, emotional and financial damages you deserve. Contact us today.

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