Claim for anxiety after car crash?

by P
(Ohio, USA)

I was in a car accident recently. I was driven the to ER afterward by a loved one. While there, I was diagnosed with whiplash. The other driver went left of center while I was stationary at a red light and struck me twice, the first blow to the left passenger door, the second was in the rear bumper.

I am now a nervous wreck when I have to drive. I have a history of anxiety / depression and my anxiety is now up again. I do not want to involve an attorney. If it's worth my time, how would I go about requesting pain and suffering from from the at-fault driver's insurance company? Can I get compensated for my anxiety? Thank you for any help.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Claim for anxiety after car crash?":

P (Ohio, USA):

From the facts you present, your physical injuries were not serious. Whiplash is considered a "soft tissue" injury. When it comes to personal injury claims, soft tissue injuries are usually not worth a great deal.

In most cases, if there was no contributory negligence on the part of the victim, and the liability of the negligent driver is unquestioned, a victim can hope to receive a settlement amount representing 1½ to 2 times the amount of their medical bills. That amount is meant to reflect settlement of medical and/or therapy bills, out-of-pocket expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

What it comes down to is that soft tissue injuries just do not warrant large settlement amounts.

You have every right to ask to be compensated for your pain and suffering. That pain and suffering though will only be for the actual pain and suffering you experienced as a direct result of the crash.

Unless you can back up your mental health symptoms with a psychiatrist's or psychologist's written narrative linking those symptoms to the accident, you can be confident the insurance company will not care about your depression or anxiety, whether it was exacerbated or new.

In addition, because of the minor injury you suffered, it may be difficult to find an attorney to accept your case. This is true, especially if your medical bills were not substantial. There is just not enough money in that type of case.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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