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Sue for Emotional Distress after a Car Accident - Not All Trauma is Physical

Can you Sue for Emotional Distress from a Car Accident?

Sue for Emotional Distress in WisconsinYes. You can sue for emotional distress in the state of Wisconsin.

Once you report a car accident in Milwaukee you can sue for the damage to your car, you can sue for lost wages, and you can sue for medical bills; but how do you sue for the emotional distress caused by a car accident? Car accidents often leave physical scars like broken bones and herniated discs; injuries that you can easily show a jury and assign a dollar value. It's a challenge to prove to a jury that you've suffered emotional distress from a car accident - that is unless you hire the Milwaukee car accident lawyers at Warshafsky.

Any personal injury lawyer can show a jury their client's broken elbow and say "Look! My client's elbow was broken in the car accident" - that's easy. It takes an elite attorney to take mental anguish and distress and turn it into a physical settlement. Our car accident attorneys use bills from therapists, testimony from medical professionals, and even client testimony to establish the existence of emotional distress and correctly place the blame on those accountable. As personal injury attorneys our job is to make sure our clients are made whole following an accident. When you employ Warshafsky you get aggressive advocates who will fight to ensure you are compensated for emotional distress following a car accident.

INJURED? It IS About The Money.®

Determining Emotional Distress after a Car Accident

What kind of damages are emotional distress? Defining distress is the first step in suing for damages if you're suffering from emotional distress or PTSD after a car accident. Our experienced car accident attorneys will prove to a court you are suffering from mental harm; including (but not limited to):

  • Insomnia
  • Terror
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Anguish
  • Humiliation
  • Torment
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Three Ways to Show Emotional Distress after a Car AccidentWisconsin Emotional Distress Lawyers

To determine if you can file for compensation for emotional distress, Warshafsky will work with you to show a court:

  1. The emotional distress impacts you each and every day and is not a one-time incident (elevated stress any time you get in a car)
  2. The negligence of the defendant is a direct cause of your distress
  3. The distress is medically impacting your life (loss of sleep, depression, anxiety, etc)

In order to file for compensation, our Wisconsin injury attorneys will work tirelessly to prove you suffer from all three of these.

Three Types of Emotional Distress

Following a car accident, emotional distress is usually lumped in with pain and suffering, but can be addressed in three other ways:

  1. Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress - If someone intentionally causes your injuries, such as purposely hitting your car in a fit of road rage, you can sue for the intentional infliction of emotional distress. The defendant must know or reasonably assume you would suffer distress.
  2. Negligent Infliction - If your car accident was caused by negligence Warshafsky can prove the defendant caused your emotional distress because of their negligent acts.
  3. Loss of Consortium - If, tragically, the car accident resulted in loss of consortium such as spouse or parent you are likely entitled to damages caused by the emotional distress of losing a loved one.

Five Ways to Determine the Value of Emotional Distress

When preparing for your case to go to trial, Warshafsky will consider your physical injuries and your emotional ones. There are five main factors that courts consider when measuring damages from emotional distress:

  1. The economic loss suffered - lost wages can lead to financial troubles, compounding your emotional distress
  2. The extent of the injury - a shattered femur takes longer to heal than dislocated elbow
  3. Impairment or disability to perform normal activities - the inability to do something simple like sign a check has lasting effects
  4. Disfigurement or disability caused by the injuries - partial paralysis causes lasting mental damage
  5. Aggravation of preexisting conditions - car accidents can cause previous trauma to resurface and even cause addicts to relapse

Limitations on Suing for Emotional Distress

The state of Wisconsin has imposed limits on compensation provided after suing for emotional distress.

Limits to Suing for Emotional Distress in Wisconsin

Statute of Limitations
  • Three years for personal injury & medical malpractice
  • 120 days to give notice to state and local government agencies
Limits on Damages
  • $750,000 cap on non-economic damages
  • $250,000 cap on some claims against the state
  • $50,000 cap on some claims against local governments
Other Limits
  • Comparative negligence rule may prohibit or reduce recovery of damages

However Your Accident is Affecting You, Warshafsky Can Get Compensation

Car accident injuries go beyond mere broken bones and cuts. Sometimes a wreck affects victims in visible ways through loss of mobility and physical handicaps, but sometimes the pain is more difficult to see. PTSD, loss of consortium and emotional damage are all scars that hide under the surface. No matter how your car crash has affected your life, Warshafsky can help you get compensation. It IS about the money.

  1. Medical care (including hospital stay, medications, physical therapy, and any other medical expenses)
  2. Lost Wages  (including loss of income and loss of earning capacity)
  3. Property damage (for repair or replacement of your car and its contents)
  4. Pain and suffering (pain and discomfort during, immediately after, and ongoing long-term as a result of the accident)
  5. Emotional distress (sleep loss, fear, anxiety—sometimes falls under pain and suffering)
  6. Loss of enjoyment (inability to enjoy certain hobbies and other activities)
  7. Loss of consortium (damage to your relationship with your spouse because of their injury)
  8. Punitive damages (basically to punish the negligent party for their reckless conduct)
Contact Warshafsky Law for information about suing for emotional distress after a car accident.