Sometimes the damage that you incur from an accident isn’t just physical. Although there may be medical bills and expenses for repairs that have an exact dollar amount attached, there can also be emotional distress. Because emotional distress is less concrete, it’s more challenging for courts to determine a damages amount. Here’s how courts determine emotional distress damages.
What Is Emotional Distress?
After your accident, it’s possible that you might have nightmares, depression, insomnia, anxiety, or other mental issues. Unfortunately, these issues don’t merely impact your home and social life. They can also take a toll on your performance at work and can sometimes lead to termination.
Because emotional distress can be an ongoing, compounding issue; it’s challenging to assign a fixed dollar amount. For this reason, these non-economic (or “general”) damages can greatly vary from case to case.
How Do Courts Determine Emotional Distress?
A Nebraska judge might consider these factors when trying to determine how much to award for emotional distress:
How Fault Might Impact Your Ruling
Nebraska is a “modified comparative fault” state. This means the injured party’s ability to collect damages is proportional to their degree of fault. Individuals found to be at fault by 50% or more are not eligible to recover any emotional distress damages at all.
For example, Person 1 runs a red light and hits another car. Both parties receive injuries. Because Person 1 ran the red light, it is determined that they are 60% at fault. This means Person 1 is ineligible to receive damages for emotional distress.
For Person 2, who was hit by the car, the situation is different. In this case, Person 2 is only 40% at fault. This makes Person 2 eligible to receive damages for emotional distress. If Person 2 files for emotional distress damages, he or she is eligible to receive up to 60% of his or her claim.
Have You Been in an Accident That Has Caused Emotional Distress?
If you are currently suffering from emotional distress caused by an accident, call Inkelaar Law. Unlike broken bones, which can heal quickly, emotional distress can linger, causing long-term pain and suffering. At Inkelaar Law, we can help you get the settlement you deserve for your emotional distress. Give us a call today at (877) 537-4665 or contact us online.