The United States has one of the highest number of registered vehicles anywhere in the world. With the numbers at more than 250 million and climbing fast, the crashes that occur every day are enormous too. It’s estimated that 6.3 million car accidents occur every year, 34% of which are fatal. An estimated 2 million result in permanent injuries. The damage to personal belongings and public property is besides that. Overall, auto accidents are a nuisance that has to be curtailed at all costs.
Vehicle crashes can happen out of the blue so it’s critical to know what to do in the event of a car accident. Here are a few things that you need to know in order to avoid any hassles in the event of a car crash.
Knowing Your Responsibilities After an Auto Accident
The accident might not have been your fault but there are still certain responsibilities on you. These include not only to ensure the safety of all the people involved but collecting as much evidence as possible to furnish a strong claim before the insurance company. Here are a few things that should collect or document:
- As much information as you can on the other driver and their insurance company. This is because you have to contest your claim before the insurance company and this information can only be obtained on the spot because once you leave it is hard to get hold of the relevant information,
- The registration numbers and condition of the vehicles involved in an accident. This documentation helps you obtain appropriate damages from the insurance company. It also gives you proof in case there are any damage that was present before the accident that might be blamed on you.
What to do After a Car Accident?
As soon as you get into a crash it is essential that you first make sure that the occupants in your car and others that might be involved are not injured. The next step is to contact the relevant authorities. Never try to take matters into your own hands. Call the police and the insurance company to make them aware of the situation. It is also advisable to call your attorney to obtain information about the adequate course of action.
There are four main types of costs that can be recovered from the insurance company. These include:
- The costs of the damage to the vehicle and the repairs for it
- Personal property damage costs that cover the loss or damage of belongings like your phone or laptop during the accident
- The cost of a rental car that you might have to hire until your vehicle was being repaired and
- Out-of-pocket expenses like a taxis, tow trucks, etc.
Effectively dealing with an auto accident is about knowing what to do. It is important to practice caution and take measures that to avoid car accidents at all costs but if you get into one, always be vigilant and handle the situation appropriately.
The Emotional Distress and Pain & Suffering From an Injury
The consequences and effects of a serious car accident go beyond just the physical damage to your body. The mental anguish and stress that results from recovery and impacts on work and life in general is profound. This is why car accident injury lawsuits come with extremely high recoverable amounts. The arguments of the case almost always include an element of emotional distress, pain and suffering. However, there is still confusion over what emotional distress entails and how monetary value is attached to it. This is important information for people who are going through the car accident lawsuit process because you will likely need to go into great detail about your incident and how it psychologically impacted and stressed you.
What is Emotional Distress?
Emotional distress is the state of psychological suffering caused by events like car accidents. The effects can include panic, depression, anxiety, fear, suicidal thoughts or other emotional states that you might experience during the recovery phase. An emotional distress accompanied by physical injury is generally easier to prove because of the evidence but with no injury there’s a lot more effort involved.
Emotional distress damages are quite subjective and the monetary amount compensated for them can vary between cases. It is important to note any psychological effects that you are feeling after an accident because these can be included in the damages that you can claim. However, the acceptance of the claim will depend on evaluations from doctors & therapists and other factors.
Types of Emotional Distress Claims
There are different types of psychological damage claims that can be presented in the demand. These include intentional or negligent infliction of emotional distress, emotional distress accompanied by physical injury and distress that is used to recover damages for ‘pain and suffering’ or ‘loss of consortium’.
Documenting Emotional Distress
Psychological influences are not as easy to prove as physical injuries because they are not visible clearly in medical reports. As a result, it is important for individuals to take notes of the emotional symptoms that they go through during the recovery process. The more detailed your evidence, the greater are your chances of being successful with distress claims.
Most states have introduced legislation that limits the amount of money that can be paid out under emotional distress damages. This is to mainly dissuade people from talking undue advantage of a law. It is important to discuss this with your attorney and analyze what is reasonable and fair. California is a state where non-economic damages can be paid, but the amount may not exceed $250,000.
Although there is criticism and objections raised against the legitimacy of an emotional distress claims, the phenomenon is very real with someone suffering from personal injuries. It is crucial that you consult with a local auto accident attorney in Orange County to obtain proper guidance in this matter and seek the maximum compensation that you are rightfully entitled to.