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Austin Personal Injury Blog

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Can I Receive Compensation for Emotional Distress After a Car Accident?

A victim of a car accident may suffer a variety of damages because of the collision. Physical injuries and financial losses are two of the most common types of damages sustained because of a car accident. However, victims may also suffer intense emotional distress and mental anguish because of a car accident. A Texas automobile accident lawyer helps accident victims seek compensation for all damages, including emotional distress after a car accident.

Economic vs. Non-Economic Damagfes for a Car Accident Claim


Damages and losses caused by a car accident are typically divided into two categories. Economic damages are the financial losses sustained because of the crash. Common examples of economic damages include:

  • The cost of medical and personal care
  • Loss of income, including future lost wages and diminished earning capacity
  • Damage to personal property
  • Cost of medical equipment and medical supplies
  • Physical therapy, occupational therapy, and rehabilitative therapy
  • Travel expenses and other out-of-pocket costs related to the injury and your recovery

Non-economic damages or your “pain and suffering” damages are the intangible damages you suffer because of the car accident. Intangible damages do not have a set monetary value. Examples of non-economic damages include:

  • Physical suffering and pain
  • Emotional distress and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of enjoyment or quality of life
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Permanent impairment or disability

Even though non-economic damages do not have a set monetary value, you may still recover compensation for these damages. Texas is one of the states that allows accident victims to recover compensation for both financial losses and pain & suffering damages.

Recovering Compensation for Emotional Distress


Proving non-economic damages can be difficult. Texas personal injury laws do not provide a formula for calculating compensation for emotional distress based on other factors such as the monetary loss, type of physical injury, or length of recovery. However, all of those factors can impact the value of a claim for emotional distress. The state encourages juries to use a basic multiplier to calculate pain and suffering damages, but juries are not bound by law to use this method.


When valuing a claim for emotional distress, we look at several different factors. For instance, how did the consequences of the accident impact your daily life? Are you able to care for your personal needs or do you require assistance bathing and dressing? Did you miss substantial time from work causing a financial hardship for your family, a missed career opportunity, or unemployment? Are you unable to leave home without extreme stress because you are terrified of riding in a vehicle?


An attorney presents evidence that demonstrates how the car accident has impacted every area of your life to cause emotional stress and suffering. The goal is to demonstrate that the car accident has caused substantial losses and suffering so that a jury will use a higher multiplier to calculate compensation for emotional distress if the jury is using the multiplier method. In any case, the goal is to “show” the jury how much you suffered because of the negligence of another person.


Contact a Texas Auto Accident Attorney for More Information


Emotional distress can interfere with your daily life and have a significant impact on your relationships with others. You deserve to be compensated for your emotional distress and your other damages. Contact our Texas personal injury lawyers today for a free consultation to discuss your options for receiving compensation after a car accident.


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