Is emotional distress considered a personal injury in Denver?

Denver, CO – When someone is injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, they will first look for ways to recover their financial losses, such as medical expenses, property damage, or lost earnings. If you sustain a severe injury in a car accident, the medical bills can be crippling and you will have to file a claim against the other driver’s insurance or sue them. However, an accident is a traumatic experience that can cause significant emotional distress. You may have to talk to a skilled Denver personal injury lawyer to get compensation for your emotional distress.

How is emotional distress defined?

Emotional distress is a broad phrase that, in civil law, can refer to many different negative feelings and personal consequences related to an accident.

Emotional distress falls under non-economic damages and is hard to prove since you cannot present any bills or pay stubs to justify your demands.

In legal speak, non-economic damages refer to both physical and mental suffering. If you sustain a severe injury, you may be hospitalized for weeks or months, undergo surgery, or grueling physical therapy. Experienced Colorado personal injury lawyers will focus on the severity of the injury and bring in experts to discuss the amount of physical pain such an injury causes. If you also keep a pain diary detailing your daily struggles, that can also be used to justify your demands.

As for mental suffering, you can seek compensation if the accident itself and the resulting injury caused you:

  • Emotional distress
  • Shock
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Humiliation
  • Loss of enjoyment in life.

You may be able to seek emotional distress damages even if you were not directly injured in an accident. Seasoned personal injury lawyers may be able to obtain damages if you had to watch a family member die before your eyes or be seriously wounded in the accident. 

If your partner is killed in an accident, you are entitled to monetary compensation for grief, loss of affection, or loss of consortium.

How can you prove mental suffering in a personal injury lawsuit?

If you suffer from nightmares, anxiety, or depression following an accident, you should see a mental health professional. First of all, for your own good. You need someone to help you process the trauma and move on with your life. At the same time, your lawyers can call upon the expert to testify in court about your mental and emotional issues.

Your close family and friends can also testify about the impact the accident and your injury have had on your mental well-being. 

Last, but not least, you can be called to talk about your issues directly. You can talk about the frustration of being unable to pursue your normal activities, the humiliation of depending on someone else for your basic needs if you are bedridden, or the sadness of being unable to care for your children.

If you keep a pain diary, do not hesitate to address these issues in it.

At present, under Colorado laws, pain, and suffering damages are capped at $642,180. This figure is adjusted for inflation every 2 years. However, if your lawyers can present clear and convincing evidence of your tremendous suffering, you can get twice that sum, to a maximum of $1,284,370.

If you were recently injured in an accident caused by negligence, you should contact an experienced personal injury lawyer at the Bryan & Terrill law firm to see what sort of damages your family is entitled to.

Contact info:

Bryan & Terrill

333 W. Hampden Ave., #420B

Englewood, CO 80110

(720) 923-2333


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