Attorneys for Auto Accidents in Chicago

The Emotional Distress After a Traffic Accident in Illinois

Traffic accidents are often scary and stressful for all of the drivers and passengers involved. Thousands of Americans are involved in accidents every single day—including motor vehicle accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and bicycle accidents. Many of these accidents are minor and the parties are able to move forward without too much hassle. However, other accidents are quite serious and result in severe injuries or death.

When accidents happen, most people think about the physical injuries that can occur. Broken bones, head injuries, cuts, and whiplash are all common after accidents. However, the mental toll an accident can take on a victim is often underappreciated. There are a number of mental health conditions that may manifest after an accident. These include post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, and insomnia. So long as the victim is able to prove that these disorders were caused by the accident, the victim should be able to recover expenses associated with them.

When someone files a claim as a result of a traffic accident, that person is filing a type of negligence claim. In every negligence claim, the victim must prove:

  • The at-fault party owed the victim a duty;
  • The duty was breached due to negligence; and
  • Due to that breach, the victim was injured.

In traffic accident cases, drivers and other individuals using public roads have a duty to do so in a manner that is safe and reasonable under the circumstances. For example, driving at a reduced speed in bad weather is an example of driving in a reasonable manner. Driving with no headlights at night would be an example of a breach of this duty.

Depending on the severity of the accident, damages may include a variety of costs, including:

  • Medical bills
  • The cost of future medical care
  • Lost wages
  • The cost of altering a home (for example, adding wheelchair ramps)
  • Loss of consortium
  • Emotional distress

Anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and insomnia fall under emotional distress. The victim must show that the condition was a result of the accident. For example, if the victim suffered from depression before the accident, the opposing party may argue that the victim is not entitled to any damages. Of course, the victim may be able to argue that the accident made the depression worse.

To prove that the condition was caused by the accident, the victim must submit records and other types of evidence that support the claim. Medical records that provide detail about the condition are often submitted. The victim may also have witnesses issue a statement on any changes in behavior they have witnessed since the accident. Experienced personal injury attorneys know what evidence is needed to support these claims.

If you are suffering after a traffic accident, contact Chicago firm Stein & Shulman, LLC

At Stein & Shulman, LLC, our Attorneys for Auto Accidents in Chicago understand the emotional pain accident victims may experience after a crash. To schedule a free consultation with our experienced injury attorneys, call (312) 422-0506 today.