Many are under the impression that suing for a car accident necessitates the presence of some sort of a physical injury. While this is often the reasoning behind many lawsuits and insurance claims, it is not the only justifiable cause. As a victim of a car accident, you may have experienced many different types of negative impacts, from physical harm to either (or both) psychological or emotional impacts. All types of injuries and impacts are valid, and all are deserving of resolution. So, even if you have not experienced a physical injury from a car accident, you still have the right to sue for compensation.
What is Negligence?
Whether negligence has been the cause of a physical, emotional, or psychological injury, it is a justifiable cause for an individual filing a lawsuit, as it was the primary reason for the collision. The key that allows you to sue for negligent driving is that the driver’s behavior has negatively affected your life in some way shape or form. For instance, if you were a bystander or passenger in which your loved one was killed, watching them lose their life so suddenly can induce psychological trauma that deeply affects your daily life. You may experience the compromised ability to drive due to PTSD, or experience pain and suffering so extensive that you are unable to return to work for an extended period.
A successful case against a driver who is guilty of negligence requires your ability to prove all the following factors:
- The driver had a duty of care (this is the legal responsibility to exercise a minimum level of reasonable care while engaged in an activity that may potentially harm others)
- The driver breached their duty of care
- This breach of the duty of care was the primary cause of your non-physical injury or trauma
Though it is well within your rights to sue for non-physical injuries, truthfully, it is one of the most difficult types of lawsuits to successfully carry out. This is understandable, as they can be quite challenging to provide evidence for. Given that only 5% of personal injury cases go to trial, and 90% of those that do make it to trial are lost, the odds are already stacked against you as the claimant. Still, this is no reason to abandon the effort altogether. Some states make it easier for individuals to sue for non-physical injuries – California being a great example.
In this state, most lawsuits for psychological or emotional injuries are filed by bystanders who were deeply affected by watching a loved one die in a collision. Again, these are cases in which the trauma has impacted the individual’s quality of life to the extent that they have experienced interruptions in the way they carry out their daily activities such as work responsibilities.
Get the Help of Personal Injury Lawyer
As you’ve come to understand, filing a successful lawsuit for non-physical injuries is a hefty task, one that requires extensive experience. Instead of attempting to do this on your own, hire the help of a personal injury lawyer. They know just what type of evidence they must pursue in order to develop a successful case for you. An experienced lawyer will ensure that you get the justice and compensation you deserve so that you can move forward into a healthy recovery.