Being in a car accident can be an incredibly traumatic life event, whether you were seriously injured or not. For many people, it can cause serious anxiety, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), and a fear of driving long into the future. These are all serious issues, and you may be wondering whether you can gain compensation for these damages, even if you have not actually suffered a serious physical injury as a result of your car accident.
The good news is that under Kentucky law, you can file a personal injury claim under “pain and suffering.” That being said, this type of case is not quite as straightforward as a normal injury claim for a number of reasons. First of all, a serious injury may lead to concrete, tangible expenses and losses, such as medical bills or loss of income. These things are easily quantifiable, which means the court can assign a dollar amount to these losses and compensate you accordingly.
On the other hand, a pain and suffering case involves emotional pain or trauma, and these issues are not connected with a specific numerical value in the same way as a loss of income. For this reason, pain and suffering cases can be tricky to approach. This is exactly why it is so important to enlist the help of a qualified legal expert who understands these cases. With the right attorney by your side, you can gain the compensation you deserve.
What Constitutes “Pain and Suffering” in Kentucky?
So what exactly does “pain and suffering” mean? The term is a little vague, so it helps to look at some examples of what might constitute pain and suffering according to Kentucky law. Pain and suffering might be any of the following:
- Increased levels of anxiety
- Increased levels of fear that impact your ability to work efficiently
- General mental distress
- Withdrawal from social life
- Rifts forming between family members as a result of the incident
- Physical pain
- Scars which affect your confidence and aesthetic beauty
- Nervousness that does not go away
Those are just a few examples of why you might be justified in pursuing a pain and suffering case. It is important to note that the term “pain and suffering” can apply to both mental and physical pain. In other words, your pain does not have to be visible for it to be legitimate.
Proving Your Pain and Suffering
Over the course of your legal case, you will need to prove that you are indeed going through some form of pain and suffering, whether it is mental or physical. Two different figures are very important at this stage — your attorney and a clinician. While your attorney will move the process forward and ensure that your case is following various protocols, clinicians are tasked with assessing your well-being and reporting back to the court. In most cases, these clinicians either provide medical documentation based on their findings or providing testimony in person to the court. They may also report directly to insurance companies with their findings. In the case of mental pain and suffering cases, you will likely be assessed by mental health professionals.
The Bottom Line
Not all injuries are physical. In fact, some of the most long-lasting and troublesome scars are of the mental variety. This is recognized under Kentucky law, and you are entitled to fair compensation based on the psychological suffering you have suffered. Reach out to Roberts Law Office and work with a qualified attorney who is committed to seeing justice served.