The Truth About Seeking Compensation for Emotional Distress
If you’ve heard enough Colorado Springs car accident attorney advertisements, you’ve probably heard that you can obtain money for pain and suffering and emotional distress after a car accident. While true, it’s important to put these concepts in perspective and truly understand your rights. Claiming emotional injuries after an injury is not a panacea for obtaining sizable compensation; rather, it’s just one of many potential claims you can make, which may result in additional compensation.
The devoted Colorado Springs legal team at Springs Law Group is here to help. If you are suffering after a serious injury that you sustained in a car or truck accident, give us a call to discuss your case. We will offer a private and no-obligation case evaluation to help you assess your options. Whether you choose to hire us or not, we can offer you practical advice and tips to preserve your rights and help you get the compensation you deserve.
Types of Compensation Allowed by Law
The idea of recovering money for injuries is an old one. In ancient Roman times, a civil action known as a delict could be brought to seek compensation for a wrong or harm that was inflicted upon another. Throughout the ages, societies have attempted to strike a balance in communities by weighing and measuring the value of harm in order to encourage people to use caution and not hurt each other.
Today, we call these claims torts. When someone acts in a negligent, careless, or reckless manner and causes some harm to another person, the injured party has a right to be “made whole” or put back to the position they were in before the wrongful act. Therefore, our court system in Colorado allows an injured or aggrieved person to seek compensation in the form of money to pay for harm. You can seek compensation for just about anything that is lost, including:
- Reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses
- Towing expenses
- Medical bills
- Prescriptions you had to buy
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress and anguish
- Loss of a loved one
- Much more
What You Must Prove to Get Emotional Distress Compensation
Insurance companies are often very reluctant to offer payment unless there is a strong reason to do so, as it is very difficult to prove. Juries are likewise reluctant, as it’s somewhat difficult to prove someone’s subjective emotional experience. Colorado jury instructions allow a jury to consider whether you have proven by a preponderance of the evidence that you experienced emotional distress to the extent that you should be paid for it.
Zone of Danger
Long ago, Colorado law required people to show that they were physically injured or impacted in some way in order to claim emotional distress. Today, however, all you must show is that you were within the “zone of danger.” This means you were close enough to the danger that you could reasonably fear that you would be injured. Therefore, a pedestrian who is merely grazed by a drunk driver but experiences extreme anxiety and fear after being nearly struck could, at least in theory, collect compensation for the anguish caused.
If you are suffering after a car accident, don’t just wonder about your rights. Call an experienced Colorado Springs car accident lawyer in Colorado Springs who can help you protect your rights. Call the Springs Law Group LLC today.