What are Emotional Distress Damages and How are They Calculated?

When it comes to personal injury lawsuits, the end goal is always to recoup a settlement that will cover the damages one has sustained in an accident that was caused by another party. For the most part, attorneys and insurance adjusters will haggle over compensatory damages, such as property damages, lost wages and limits to future earnings, and medical expenses. However, there are also damages that are known as non-economic, and one such type is called emotional distress. 

Emotional distress is a complicated concept that may be difficult to prove depending on the case, but with the help of an experienced personal injury attorney such as those from Van Law Firm, it is certainly possible. 

The Basics of Emotional Distress in Personal Injury Cases

The purpose of emotional distress damages is to attempt to reimburse accident victims for the psychological toll that their injuries have had on their quality of life. There are numerous ways in which emotional distress may affect a person’s life, including but not limited to the following: 

  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) 
  • Severe mood swings
  • Depression 
  • Trouble sleeping 
  • Increased anxiety 
  • Anger and rage 

Emotional distress damages are subjective in nature, and all victims will have different experiences. There isn’t an exact definition of emotional distress, but this is not necessarily a bad thing; when arguing the law, if you can’t define exactly what it is, then you cannot define exactly what it is not, which leaves the door open for any argument. 

Formulating Emotional Distress

If someone is injured to the point that they choose to file a personal injury lawsuit, it is reasonably safe to assume that he or she will seek and receive medical treatment of some kind. Whenever you are treated for injuries that were caused by a separate party, the doctor will ask you to recount any psychological and emotional symptoms that you’ve experienced. Emotional distress that is documented by a physician is probably the most powerful piece of evidence an attorney can present when arguing for emotional distress. 

In addition, we always advise our clients to keep a periodical journal or diary in which they note how they are feeling throughout the day. These details can be as broad or as minute as you’d like, and in many cases these notes can be used for your case. 

Lastly, the final way in which an attorney may argue for emotional distress on your behalf is by compiling those who are close to you to testify about how your injuries have affected you– this can include your family, close friends, or even your coworkers. 

Once the attorney has argued for emotional distress damages, he or she will then calculate a settlement amount using what’s called a “multiplier method.” It works by adding up all the tangible or economic damages, like medical costs and lost wages, and then multiplying that sum by a given number, usually between 1.5 and 5. That total then becomes the overall settlement proposal that will be presented to the at-fault party or insurer. 

Recovering Emotional Distress Damages with Van Law Firm

If you’ve been injured in an accident that was caused by another party and you wish to file for non-economic damages such as emotional distress, the award-winning personal injury attorneys for Van Law Firm are the best choice to maximize your compensation. 

We’ve amassed nearly 500 5-star reviews over the years, and when you consider the fact that we’ve recovered over 50 million dollars for our clients so far, it’s no surprise why we’re one the most respected and fastest growing firms in the nation.