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Can You Sue for Emotional Distress after a Car Accident?

Car accidents are dangerous accidents that put victims in harm’s way, but they can also be terrifying events that cause their victims to suffer extreme emotional distress. If you have been injured in such a car accident (that was caused by the negligence of the other driver), you may be able to recover on your full scope of damages – including your emotional distress – but you’re well advised to have an experienced Tampa car accident attorney in your corner.

Florida Is a No-Fault State

Florida is what is known as a no-fault state when it comes to car accidents, and this means that claims are typically processed through the injured party’s own insurance coverage, and only financial losses such as property damage (to your vehicle), medical costs, and lost earnings are included. In certain situations, however, you can seek damages from the at-fault party in the car accident that left you injured, and these include car accidents that result in any of the following:

  • A significant or permanent loss of bodily function
  • A permanent injury
  • Permanent disfigurement or scarring

You can also file your claim through the at-fault driver’s coverage if your damages exceed the limits of your personal coverage (which must meet the state’s requirements). If the accident that caused you to be injured was serious enough to cause serious emotional distress, it’s likely that one of these exceptions may apply, and a dedicated car accident attorney can help you skillfully navigate the often difficult path toward recovering on those losses associated with your emotional distress.

Identifying Emotional Distress

Emotional distress can be very difficult to put a price tag on – because it isn’t directly related to any financial loss. Emotional distress, nonetheless, can be extremely hard on its victims, and some of the most common manifestations of emotional distress include the following:

  • Sleep disturbances
  • Loss of appetite
  • Increased anxiety, including social anxiety
  • Bouts of depression
  • Self-isolation and a tendency to push others away
  • Crying jags
  • Severe mood swings
  • Additional signs of emotional lability
  • Fearfulness
  • Inability to get back behind the wheel
  • Terrifying nightmares
  • Difficulty performing one’s job
  • Irrational thought processes
  • Feelings of paranoia

Some victims of extreme emotional distress experience a full array of PTSD-like symptoms. Sadly, these common signs of emotional distress tend to push the people who make up your support system (family members, loved ones, and friends) away – just when you could use their support the most.

An Experienced Tampa Car Accident Attorney Can Help

Car accidents can lay you low physically, but they can also do immense emotional damage that should not be overlooked. The skilled Tampa car accident attorneys at Tragos, Sartes & Tragos take great pride in helping clients like you recover for their damages in their entirety – including their physical, financial, and emotional damages. Your recovery is too important to leave to chance, so please don’t hesitate to contact us online or call us at 813-223-6405 today for more information about how we can help you.


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