Accidents can take a serious toll on the mental health of those involved and even their loved ones, causing serious emotional damage. Sadly, it is not uncommon for people who have been hurt in an accident to fear putting themselves back in certain situations. This can include driving on certain roads, being in a car at all, and sometimes even leaving the house. We’ve seen first-hand that, after a traumatic accident, things that used to feel normal can become terrifying. We understand that the emotional effects of serious accidents can be debilitating. Luckily, you have options under South Carolina law, and we are here to walk you through them.

If you have any questions, or would like to begin the road to justice and recovery, reach out to our team today. For your convenience, we are available 24/7. 

Can I Sue For Emotional Damages After a Wreck?

Yes, under South Carolina law you may be entitled to sue for emotional trauma resulting from an accident depending on the specifics of your case. 

Typically, emotional pain and suffering is only one form of damages you seek compensation for within your overall personal injury claim, frequently in addition to compensation for physical injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and more. 

In order to file for compensation for emotional trauma, it’s important that you work with your attorney to compile evidence that supports your claim. This may include testimony from friends and family, records from medical providers, therapist testimony or notes, journals, time missed from work, and more. 

How Do I File a Lawsuit For Compensation For Pain and Suffering?

If you’ve been in an accident and are now struggling with serious emotional trauma, please know that you are not alone. Serious accidents can impact more than just your physical and financial health. With over 60 years of combined experience representing people who have been hurt in car accidents throughout the state, we understand how overwhelming this can be, and we’re here to remind you that you do not have to go through this process alone.

The first step to filing a lawsuit seeking compensation for emotional trauma after an accident is to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer. We will help you understand what you may be entitled to, answer any questions you may have, and explain the process to you. Our law firm is currently accepting new clients. If you decide you’d like to work with us, we are ready to handle the legal process for you so that you can focus on healing. To get started, call our office today.

How to Calculate What You’re Owed for Emotional Damages

Emotional damages are generally an example of “non-economic damages.” This means that they do not have a direct numerical value tied to them like medical expenses and property damage do. For this reason, it can be extremely difficult to determine a fair value without a lawyer on your side. 

The attorneys at Cavanaugh & Thickens have represented hundreds of car accident and personal injury claims, so we can give you a fair estimate of what your emotional damages may be worth based on the historic cases and the specifics of your case. To help assign a value, we will have you keep track of your emotional pain and analyze:

  • The severity of your injuries
  • The time it took to heal
  • Your overall health
  • Your age
  • Resulting limitations of the injuries
  • Impact of the injuries on your relationships
  • And more.

Other Forms of Non-Economic Damages You May Claim in Your Lawsuit

Under South Carolina law, you may be eligible to seek compensation for various forms of “non-economic” damages in addition to pain and suffering. This compensation is often accompanied by seeking compensation for economic damages after an accident including lost wages, medical expenses, reduced earning capacity, property damage, and more.

Forms of non-economic damages you can seek compensation for include:

  • Scarring and Disfigurement
  • Physical Pain
  • Disability
  • Permanent Impairment
  • Loss of Consortium

For more information or to see if you qualify to file a lawsuit including non-economic damages, contact our award-winning personal injury lawyers today.

What Are Examples of Emotional Damages?

In addition to common physical injuries after serious accidents, people can also suffer serious emotional damages such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression. The human brain is complicated, and everyone’s brain and body can respond to an accident differently. Common symptoms and conditions of mental health damages following an accident can include:

  • High levels of stress
  • High levels of anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Irritability or mood swings, commonly including feelings of anger, guilt, shame, shock, and frustration
  • Lack of enjoyment
  • Withdrawal from social events
  • Withdrawal from friends and family
  • Nightmares or disrupted sleep patterns
  • Newly developed fears or phobias, often including the fear of riding in a car
  • Derealization
  • Depersonalization
  • And more.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms following a car wreck or other accident, it’s in your best interest to seek medical help. From there, you should talk to a personal injury lawyer about helping you file a claim. 

Every person is different, and there is no one-size-fits all treatment plan following an accident; however, proper medical treatment and seeking justice can help heal the physical and mental injuries caused by the accident.

How to Prove You’re Entitled to Non-Economic Damages

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for insurance companies to argue that victims are exaggerating their symptoms in an attempt to decrease the value of your case. When it comes to non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, it’s in your best interest to 1) hire a reputable lawyer who can help you optimize your entire personal injury claim and fight the insurance companies and 2) follow the steps below.

  • Seek medical attention for all injuries, physical and emotional, as soon as possible after an accident
  • Report all symptoms to your doctor, including any that may seem minor
  • Monitor your body and mind for worsening symptoms
  • Follow your doctor’s treatment plan
  • Attend all doctor’s appointments
  • Commit to your follow-up and/or rehabilitation treatment plans
  • Do not post about your accident on social media
  • Document your recovery with photos, notes, etc
  • Keep a journal documenting your pain and suffering. Write down activities that are hard for you, pain levels, emotional struggles, your feelings, changes in relationships, and more.

With Cavanaugh & Thickens, our goal is to make this process as easy as possible for you so you can focus your time and attention to what matters most: healing. Our team will keep track of your related medical expenses for you. In fact, you will have your own dedicated medical records coordinator. We will also aggressively defend you and your case against the involved insurance companies so you’re not being taken advantage of. And, we will keep you up-to-date on what’s going on in your case so you never feel alone or in the dark. For your complimentary case evaluation, simply contact our office today by calling (803) 888-2200, emailing [email protected], or completing our online form.

What is the Statute of Limitations For Filing a Claim for Emotional Distress?

In South Carolina, you generally have three years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury claim seeking compensation for any and all damages related to the accident, including emotional trauma. However, the statute of limitations can be shorter or longer in certain circumstances.  It is in your best interest to contact a lawyer and get started on the process sooner than later. This gives you and your legal team adequate time to gather evidence, optimize your claim, begin negotiations, and work towards a fair resolution.

If you have any questions at all about filing a personal injury claim after an accident in South Carolina, or what you may be entitled to, reach out to our team today. We understand this can feel overwhelming – rest assured we’re always here to help.

Cavanaugh & Thickens Will Help You Get What You’re Owed

After an accident, contact the award-winning personal injury lawyers at Cavanaugh & Thickens. With over 60 years of combined experience and a track record of success for our clients, we are here to help you best recover physically, financially, and emotionally after a South Carolina accident. Get what you’re owed – call our team today.