Can I sue after a car accident? 37 Answers as of July 08, 2013

A couple days ago I was in a car accident. A car was making a quick left turn and I didn't have enough time to stop. It seemed as though it was a last minute decision for him to turn. My 8 year old daughter was in the car with me at the time. He claimed I did not have my headlights on, but I know I did. I had just met my sister in a parking lot and had my headlights on so she could find me and I never touched them. My daughter was brought by ambulance to the ER and was deemed okay, just to take it easy for a few days. My husband brought me to the ER the next day and I was told the same thing. Today I went to take my husband's truck to run a few errands and started having a panic attack by the time I reached the end of my road. I have also been having a hard time caring for my 2 year old child and have to hire a babysitter to help me out for a few hours a day. Is there any way I could sue the other driver for emotional damage?

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David Hoines Law
David Hoines Law | David Hoines
very difficult claim
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 8/13/2011
The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
Yes.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/10/2011
Dunnings Law Firm
Dunnings Law Firm | Steven Dunnings
No, but you might file a claim with your insurance company for Personal Protection Benefits (PIP) for loss wages or replacement services you need due to your inability to perform household duties you are unable to preform due to injuries from the accident
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 8/10/2011
Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
Under New York State law, you need to be able to prove that you have suffered a "serious injury". There are volumes on what that means, but basically, it boils down to death, broken bones, miscarriage, total disability of 90 days or more, or permanent partial disability, all of which must be proven by objective medical findings.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 8/10/2011
A. Daniel Woska & Associates, P.C.
A. Daniel Woska & Associates, P.C. | Dan Woska
It is difficult to figure out exactly what happened from your question. Assuming you rear ended the car in front of you and you are now claiming damages but not physical damages, but emotional. In Oklahoma, a tort or negligence claim without a physical touching is probably not actionable, but you need to discuss this with an attorney as soon as possible.
Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
Replied: 8/10/2011
    Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator
    Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator | Bernard Huff
    Contact and consult with a plaintiff's personal injury or an accident attorney regarding the liability, injuries and damages resulting in the vehicle accident..
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 8/10/2011
    Wilson & Hajek,LLC, a personal injury law firm
    Wilson & Hajek,LLC, a personal injury law firm | Francis Hajek
    You do have a personal injury case for both you and your child. In order to obtain the best possible recovery in your situation, I strongly recommend that you contact an experienced personal injury attorney. Statistics have shown that better settlements are obtained by injury lawyers. I don't think an insurance company will give your panic attacks much weight unless you seek some treatment for them from a licensed health care professional. It is also in your best interest to get some help for this compelling issue.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 8/10/2011
    Advanced Litigation Services
    Advanced Litigation Services | Joseph Iarussi
    Intentional infliction of emotional distress is called an intentional tort (which means the person must have intended to bring you harm).This set of facts you discussed is more of a negligent act so you would sue for negligence.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 8/10/2011
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A.
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A. | Christopher J. Roberts
    Generally, you need to prove a permanent physical injury or scarring to recover money from a car accident in Florida. It is probably too early to know exactly what effects the accident will have. You should consult a personal injury attorney who can help you obtain compensation. Most lawyers who handle these cases will do so on a contingency fee basis, meaning you do not pay unless you win.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 2/20/2012
    David F. Stoddard
    David F. Stoddard | David F. Stoddard
    Yes you may be able to. I would suggest that you ignore the possibility of a suit at this time. You have up to three years to file a suit. See how the emotional problems go. If you get to the point that it is bad enough to seek medical attention, do so. In the end, to recover for emotional distress, you will need a psychiatrist to testify and convince a jury that you have post traumatic stress disorder or other anxiety disorder caused by the accident. These cases are difficult to prove because juries are skeptical of personal injury claims that do not involve broken bones or other tangible injuries that show up on x rays. If the mental injury is real, however, it is worth pursuing.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 8/10/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    Under New York law you have to have a certain minimum injury before you can sue the other car, called a "serious injury". Psychological and psychiatric injuries can qualify, but they must be quite severe, disabling and documented with. Thorough treatment history. By the way, you had the right of way.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/10/2011
    The Law Office of Josh Lamborn, P.C.
    The Law Office of Josh Lamborn, P.C. | Josh Lamborn
    You can make a claim for emotional damage resulting from a collision, however unless the facts of the incident are fairly extreme jurors typically are not very sympathetic to plaintiffs who are apprehensive about driving after getting hit by another driver. If you were going to sue the other driver for the physical injuries that you suffered you might consider throwing in a claim for emotional distress, but as a stand-alone claim I don't think it would be worth filing a lawsuit over. Another important consideration to make in filing claims for emotional damage is that they open the door to allow the defense access to any records of prior mental health treatment you may have had. If this is not something you want aired in open court you may not want to file such a claim.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Oliver Law Office
    Oliver Law Office | Jami Oliver
    Anytime you are hurt in a car crash caused by somebody not obeying traffic laws (such as turning left in front of you), you are entitled to make a claim for damages proximately caused by the crash. Those damages can include medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and emotional distress, to name a few. It is hard to tell by reading your post whether it would warrant hiring an attorney based upon the extent of injury here, but that is certainly something you have a right to discuss with an attorney, at the very least.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Law Office of Travis Prestwich, PC
    Law Office of Travis Prestwich, PC | Travis Prestwich
    Yes. In Oregon, generally speaking, you have two years from the accident in which to bring a claim for your damages or losses.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Lyle B. Masnikoff and Associates
    Lyle B. Masnikoff and Associates | Lyle B. Masnikoff
    Yes. You need to call a personal injury attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Law Office of Sam Levine, LLC
    Law Office of Sam Levine, LLC | Sam L. Levine
    Would be happy to speak with you about the car accident & advise you of your options.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/8/2013
    ROWE LAW FIRM
    ROWE LAW FIRM | Jeffrey S. Wittenbrink
    In Louisiana you may sue for your actual damages, which include emotional or "mental anguish" damages. This category of damage is difficult to prove absent actual physical injury, but you do have some physical injury which would help you meet your burden of proof. You should see a doctor for a referral to a mental health professional regarding your problems. They can help establish how much of your emotional difficulty is a result of the accident, and help you recover from the negligent party.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 8/10/2011
    The Lucky Law Firm, PLC
    The Lucky Law Firm, PLC | Robert Morrison Lucky
    Yes, you may be able to bring a lawsuit against the other party.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Craig Kelley & Faultless
    Craig Kelley & Faultless | David W. Craig
    You may have a claim. It is important to talk with an attorney who handles injury cases as soon as possible. The reason time is of the essence is that there has been an issue raised about your headlights. There are experts who can look at damaged headlights and determine whether your headlights were on or not. Since you know that your headlights were on it is important to document that fact by an independent witness before your car is repaired. If the other vehicle failed to yield then that driver is likely to be held responsible for any and all damages that your family and you suffered. You are entitled to recover for both physical and emotional damages. In addition you are entitled to any lost wages, pain, suffering, other out of pocket expenses and for the damage to your car.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 8/10/2011
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo | Mark Leonardo
    Its hard to tell how this accident occurred from your description. But the bottom line is that if the other driver was indeed at fault, you can make a claim for damages, including emotional distress damages. Get an attorney to help you as the insurance company will take advantage of you if you dont have one.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    The Torkzadeh Law Firm
    The Torkzadeh Law Firm | Reza Torkzadeh
    You should immediately speak with an attorney who has experience handling these types of cases. Left hand turn accidents are very common and can often result in severe and catastrophic injuries. It seems to me like you and your family were very lucky. There are many reasons why having an attorney help you and your family in the proper handling of your case should be a priority for you. There are time limits in California in which you must bring your claim. Should you fail to do so, you will forever lose your rights to bring a claim.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/19/2012
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm | Thomas Bulman
    In Montana, juries are very skeptical of emotional damages like phobias. If you claim PTSD, get treatment. It is probably a transient fear that will subside in time. Confront it. Drive your car every day until you don't think about it anymore.
    Answer Applies to: Montana
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    You can sue for all damages but you must prove the damage. If you have emotional issues you need a psychiatrist.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Law Office of Russell D. Gray, PC
    Law Office of Russell D. Gray, PC | Russell D. Gray
    In Utah, you can not sue for personal injury unless and until your medical expenses reach $3,000 or more, OR if you have a permanent disability caused by the accident. If you meet these criteria you should speak with a personal injury attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Ackley Law Group, PLLC
    Ackley Law Group, PLLC | Andrew N. Ackley
    You certainly do have a cause of action for emotional distress relating to being injured, even if only slightly, and the fright of being nearly injured.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Link & Smith, P.C.
    Link & Smith, P.C. | Houston Smith
    Yes, you can sue the at fault driver. Be certain to notify your own auto ins carrier of the wreck as well. There is a rule under Georgia law called the "Impact Rule" which allows you to sue for emotional trauma so long as you suffered a physical impact. You did. Therefore you can sue for medical bills, lost wages, costs of hiring services you normally perform, and for general damages consisting of pain and suffering otherwise known as change in lifestyle damages. Contact me with any additional questions.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Barry Rabovsky & Associates
    Barry Rabovsky & Associates | Barry Rabovsky
    You may have a case, based upon the information that you have supplied. We would be happy to provide you with a free consultation if you call my office at either of the numbers listed below. If my office accepts your case, there is no fee charged unless we are able to obtain a settlement for you. Thank you for your email, and we look forward to hearing from you.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    Sounds like you have a claim because he failed to grant you the right of way. You should consult an attorney in your area to start the process.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    The S.E. Farris Law Firm
    The S.E. Farris Law Firm | Spencer E. Farris
    If you are injured, you MUST get treatment. This is true whether the injuries are physical or psychological. If you don't, not only will you not heal, you will never recover your damages. You may well not need to file a lawsuit. Contact an injury attorney to discuss your options. Most cases settle out of court, and the numbers are higher for settlement with a lawyer- 4 or 5 times more according to some studies. The insurance company will pay your claim based on what evidence you would present at trial. If you want to recover your damages, you have to document them, and if you want to present them at trial, you need a trial lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Judnich Law Office
    Judnich Law Office | Martin W. Judnich
    There is a possibility of doing that. Litigation is usually not the first action though. Going through the claims adjustment process may save you the time and expense of litigation. Find out who their insurance company is first, and don't forget to file a claim with your own insurance company as well.
    Answer Applies to: Montana
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Olson Althauser Samuelson & Rayan, LLP
    Olson Althauser Samuelson & Rayan, LLP | Todd S. Rayan
    It is known as pain and suffering and yes you can sue for those damages if they can be proved and supported by medical evidence. You would either sue the other driver or if he has no insurance or insufficient insurance, make a claim against your own UIM policy.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Pivotal Law Group, PLLC
    Pivotal Law Group, PLLC | Christopher L. Thayer
    If someone took a left hand turn in front of you, most likely they had the duty to yield and were negligent. If that is the case, you may well have the basis to assert a personal injury claim on your own behalf and perhaps on behalf of your 8 year old daughter. You should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney in your area promptly.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    The Law Office of Stephen R. Chesley, LLC
    The Law Office of Stephen R. Chesley, LLC | Stephen R. Chesley
    You should contact a lawyer to discuss this matter. From your account of the accident, it appears that the other vehicle made a left turn in front of your vehicle. The big question is what injuries did you sustain as a result of this accident. IF you are injured you can bring a claim. If you would like to discuss this matter further. The Law Office of Stephen R. Chesley, LLC has been protecting the injured for over 28 years and pride ourselves on the personal attention and superb representation in personal injury and malpractice cases we provide to our clients. We are a full-service Personal Injury law firm providing high-quality legal services.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Rose, Senders & Bovarnick, LLC
    Rose, Senders & Bovarnick, LLC | Paul S. Bovarnick
    Perhaps, but you really need to talk to a lawyer about the case. It's hard to tell from your e-mail whether your chances of success are great enough to make a case worthwhile for you and your attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 8/9/2011
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