Our Baltimore personal injury lawyers know that for many people, suffering traumatic injuries in an accident can cause severe emotional distress.
Accident victims might not realize it right away, but over time their trauma will begin to impact their lives in various unexpected ways. They might become anxious or depressed. Or, they might feel uncomfortable returning to the accident site or getting back behind the wheel. Whatever the case may be, their lives are different than they used to be, and there is a chance that they will never fully be able to put their accident behind them.
This makes it critically important for these accident victims to seek full compensation for the costs of their injuries. So, how do you quantify emotional distress damages?
3 Keys to Quantifying Emotional Distress Damages in a Maryland Personal Injury Case
Quantifying emotional distress damages is not something that accident victims can do on their own. Not only does it require a clear understanding of the psychological impacts of traumatic injuries, but it also requires in-depth knowledge of the governing legal principles under Maryland law. With this in mind, here are the three keys to quantifying emotional distress damages in a personal injury case:
Key #1: Proving that You are Suffering From Emotional Distress
First, you need to be able to prove that you are suffering from emotional distress. The insurance companies are not simply going to take you at your word. You need evidence, and this includes both evidence of a diagnosis and evidence of how your emotional distress impacts your life on a day-to-day basis.
What evidence can you use to prove that you are suffering from emotional distress? Some examples of the types of evidence we use to prove our clients’ claims include:
- Medical records from diagnostic and therapy sessions with psychologists and psychiatrists
- Expert testimony and reports
- Testimony from friends and loved
- Notes our clients take detailing the effects of their emotional trauma
- Photos, videos, and other documentary evidence showing the various ways in which our clients’ lives have changed
The Baltimore personal injury lawyers at McBride Bishop Law Group have substantial experience investigating accident scenes and gathering evidence to support our clients’ claims. We have the knowledge, skills, and resources you can trust to pursue the compensation you deserve.
Key #2: Proving that Your Emotional Distress is a Result of the Accident
Second, you need to be able to prove that your emotional distress is a result of your accident. To recover financial compensation for your emotional distress, you must be able to establish that it is related to a physical injury. You also need to be able to establish that someone else’s negligence is to blame. Your medical records will be critical here as well (if you sought treatment promptly after the accident, your medical records will serve as strong evidence that your injuries are accident-related), but your lawyer may also need to present various other forms of evidence to effectively establish your legal rights.
Key #3: Calculating Just Compensation for Your Emotional Distress
Finally, once you can establish that you have a claim, you can turn your focus to proving how much you are entitled to recover. This is where we really get into the topic of quantifying emotional distress damages. All of the types of evidence we listed above will be relevant here as well, and your lawyer will use this evidence to build a strong case for maximum compensation.
When quantifying an accident victim’s emotional distress, some of the most important questions are:
- How severe is the accident victim’s emotional distress?
- In what ways does the accident victim’s emotional distress impact his or her life?
- How long is the accident victim likely to suffer from emotional distress?
None of these are easy questions to answer. Additionally, it is important to note that there is no specific formula or calculator for determining how much an accident victim should receive for his or her emotional distress. Instead, it is up to the victim’s lawyer to use his or her knowledge of Maryland law to build a compelling case based on the facts at hand.
While there is no specific formula or calculator for quantifying emotional distress damages, Maryland does have one hard-and-fast rule: In personal injury cases, accident victims’ financial recoveries are limited by the state’s cap on economic damages. This cap currently stands at $905,000, and it increases by $15,000 per year. Different caps apply in medical malpractice cases and cases involving claims for wrongful death.
If you would like to know more about filing a claim for emotional distress damages following a serious accident, we encourage you to get in touch.
Call (410) 390-3101 today or contact us online to speak with an experienced Baltimore personal injury lawyer at McBride Bishop Law Group in confidence. We serve clients throughout Maryland, including Baltimore, Ocean City, and other areas.