Most motor vehicle collisions seemingly occur out of nowhere, and even minor car accidents can be traumatic for the motorists and passengers involved. In fact, American Family Physician reports that traffic crashes are now the leading cause of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in this country.
Even seemingly minor crashes can cause emotional distress, as well as property damages, lost wages, and other expenses. If another driver caused your Louisiana collision, you may be able to recover compensation via a settlement with their insurer. This could include pain and suffering and money to cover the cost of treatment for your psychological injuries.
Mental Anguish and Other Emotional Injuries Suffered in Traffic Accidents
Experts estimate that approximately 9 percent of car accident survivors develop debilitating PTSD symptoms, and many more experience PTSD-like reactions following a crash. Considering just how traumatizing a motor vehicle collision can be, it is understandable why personal injury settlements typically include compensation for psychological pain and suffering.
A serious car crash can have lasting repercussions on an individual’s emotional well-being, which could take years of treatment to overcome. Of course, minor collisions can also cause significant damage to the psyche. However, it is much more challenging to prove your psychological injuries and recover a payout in crashes that did not cause physical injuries.
If you were hurt in a collision in Lafayette or elsewhere in Louisiana, you may be able to seek compensation. This could pay for your physical and psychological healthcare, as well as related expenses. Our personal injury legal team may be able to help you navigate the claims process and avoid costly mistakes along the way.
Pursuing Pain and Suffering Damages Following a Minor Collision
If you were in an emotionally jarring collision, but you did not sustain significant property damage or bodily injury, you may be wondering if you can still pursue compensation from the liable party. In general, your right to recover pain and suffering damages depends on your state’s liability laws.
In no-fault states, accident victims cannot generally file a personal injury claim against the party responsible for the collision unless their injuries meet the state’s definition of “serious” or are so severe that they incurred a substantial amount of economic damages. This varies from state to state.
In fault states, though, you can file a claim against a negligent driver regardless of the extent of your injuries. Since Louisiana is a fault state, that means you can pursue compensation after even a minor collision. This could include:
- The expense of a medical evaluation to rule out serious injuries
- Treatment and care costs for physical or psychological injuries
- Car repairs
- Rental car costs
- Lost wages if you took time away from work to undergo treatment
- Pain and suffering damages
Building a Claim for Financial Recovery
Most collision cases, especially when the injuries are relatively minor or there are not major financial impacts, do not require you to sue the at-fault driver. Instead, you may be able to navigate the claims process and collect compensation. This process includes:
- Gathering evidence to support your negligence claim
- Documenting your economic and intangible damages
- Demanding a fair payout from the at-fault driver’s insurer
- Presenting the necessary proof to show you deserve compensation
- Negotiating for a fair settlement based on your evidence
Working with an attorney on our team may make it easier to take each of these steps. Our Lafayette personal injury law firm has the resources and knowledge to pursue damages in your case.
Your Financial Recovery is Unlikely to Be Significant, but Every Dollar Helps
If you opt to file an insurance claim based on your minor physical injuries and the psychological care you require, it is important to remember that your final settlement will likely be relatively small. There are a few different ways to calculate pain and suffering, but each approach considers the extent of the injuries that the victim experienced.
This means that if you did not sustain any major injuries, you are unlikely to secure a large settlement for pain and suffering alone. While the expense of PTSD treatment can seem significant, it is likely much lower than surgery, hospitalization, inpatient rehabilitation, and other costs related to serious physical injuries.
Individuals involved in minor collisions often wonder if filing a personal injury claim is worth it. Your attorney can help you document the expenses and losses related to your crash and your psychological injuries. They may add up to much more than you realize.
How Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help with Your Case
Proving psychological injuries and getting the insurer to cover the cost of your counseling and intangible damages – such as emotional distress – can be difficult. A car accident attorney from our firm will know the evidence necessary, take steps to gather it, and fight for a fair settlement based on that.
In some cases, it may not be possible to recover pain and suffering damages after a minor collision. However, the best way to find out is to speak with a law firm familiar with these cases. However, you likely only have one year to sue under CC Art. 3492.
Our personal injury law firm represents crash victims based on contingency fees. As such, you will not need to pay anything out of your own account for legal representation.
Speak to a Member of Our Car Accident Team for Free
If you were in a minor car accident and want to see if you have a valid claim, connect with our team today. At Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, you may be able to partner with an injury attorney who can investigate your collision and gather evidence to support your claim.
Call (337) 777-7777 now to get started with your free consultation.
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