Can I Sue For Emotional Damage From An Auto Accident?

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If you’ve ever been involved in an auto accident, you probably know what a scary experience it can be. While victims of auto accidents can potentially face intense physical injuries, they may also suffer from mental anguish as a direct result of the accident. Many people involved in personal injury accidents wonder if they sue the negligent person who caused the accident for emotional damage. To find out, read on or reach out to a San Mateo County, California Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyer today for quality legal counseling.


After a personal injury accident, a victim may be eligible to file a claim to receive restitution for their pain and suffering. While most people think that this only includes physical injuries, emotional damage may be eligible for compensation as well, depending on the circumstances. Victims are much more likely to win restitution for mental injuries if they also sustained bodily harm during the accident. However, victims with no physical injuries might also be able to receive compensation for their mental injuries, but they’ll likely need a talented personal injury lawyer on their side to help them prove their emotional damage in court. You’ll need to prove your emotional damages were longstanding to possibly win compensation for them. Emotional distress from a personal injury accident can include anxiety, PTSD, depression, panic attacks, insomnia, and more.


Auto accidents are a type of personal injury accident in which victims may also seek compensation for their pain and suffering. Because California is a no-fault state, your own auto insurance’s personal injury protection (PIP) covers your medical expenses after an auto accident injury, even if a negligent driver caused the accident. The only way to receive compensation from the negligent driver is by filing a personal injury claim. PIP only covers medical expenses anyway and not pain and suffering, so you would still need to file a personal injury claim to specifically earn damages specifically for your emotional injuries.

An accident caused by a reckless driver, like a person driving while intoxicated, could be found guilty of intentional infliction of emotional distress. This means that the person who caused your accident either intentionally caused you emotional damage or acted so recklessly that they didn’t care if they cause emotional damage. You have a higher likelihood of winning your claim if you can prove intentional infliction rather than negligent infliction (which is when someone fails to use proper care which results in the injury of another person). Either way, it’s easier to prove these damages in court if you have physical injuries too.

Have you been involved in an auto accident that left you with severe emotional damage? The Law Offices of Allister R. Liao is here for you! Contact us today for individualized support from an experienced and compassionate personal injury attorney.

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