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How to Determine Emotional Damages for Personal Injury Lawsuit

By Edited May 8, 2015 0 0

An automobile accident can harm you physically as well as emotionally. To help you recover emotional damages aside from medical expenses and loss income in a car accident claim.

Emotional damages are unquantifiable and often hard to convert into an actual amount because there are no receipts or vouchers to prove the cost.

Emotional damages refer to compensation for mental anguish. It includes stress, grief, loneliness, pain, humiliation, and suffering.

You will have to establish the following factors for determining emotional distress:

1. The anguish is expected to last long term, affecting life activities

2. The stress has a medical basis

3. The distress results from the defendant's negligent act

4. The victim suffers related physical injuries

If the defendant's negligent act showed tremendous hazard, or contains malicious intent; the plaintiff can file a separate emotional distress lawsuit.

Malicious intent to cause emotional distress can be established by proving that the defendant planned to cause mental anguish to the plaintiff.

You will have to establish the following four elements for intentional infliction of emotional distress:

1. The defendant has planned to cause harm or the action caused tremendous hazard

2. The conduct was unreasonable

3. The tremendous hazard, unreasonable act, or intentional conduct causes the emotional anguish.

Family members of a deceased victim can also file emotional distress claim under wrongful death law.

After establishing the legal basis for your emotional distress claim, the next step is to come out with an actual amount. Below are some ways on how you can determine the actual amount for your emotional damages:

1. Identify any decrease in your average wage rate after the accident. For example, if you usually receive $800 as weekly salary, and it has been reduced to $600; you are entitled to receive $200/ week damages.

If you can no longer work due to catastrophic injuries sustained, you can assert your salary as equivalent to emotional anguish.

2. Place an amount depending on how much the victim has value the impaired body part. For example, the young victim's face can cost more dollars than body parts that can be covered with clothing.

3. Place an amount on how the injury has affected the plaintiff's relationship with family members. Factors such as companionship, interaction, and quality of life are considered in determining the cost.

4. Use the Martinex Formula. Get the difference between your age and life expectancy. Multiply your answer by 365 to determine your total life expectancy days. Multiply this product with the amount you apportion as daily pain and suffering cost.

Consult with a Personal Injury Lawyer in Los Angeles to help you file emotional distress lawsuit.

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