A victim of a car accident can experience a wide range of injuries and emotions after the incident. It is important to note that if a victim suffered emotional distress as a result of a car accident, they could sue the driver responsible for their injuries. If you experienced emotional distress after a car accident in Arkansas, you should consult with an experienced Fayetteville car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Car accident lawyer Ken Kieklak recognizes how severe emotional distress can affect a victim, and he is here to offer you the legal representation needed to seek compensation for emotional distress. Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, is here to explain whether a victim of a car accident can sue for emotional distress in Arkansas.
Can a Victim of a Car Accident Sue for Emotional Distress in Arkansas?
A car accident can leave a victim battling physical and emotional trauma. Specifically, a victim of a crash may have to deal with severe emotional distress when recovering from a car accident. Fortunately, victims of car crashes can seek a car wreck lawsuit against the person responsible for their damages and other losses, including emotional distress.
In terms of personal injury law, emotional distress is typically defined as mental misery brought on as a side effect of a severe accident. For example, if a victim was heavily disfigured in a car crash, this could trigger ongoing emotional distress as the victim copes with their injuries. Additionally, emotional distress can also result when a victim observes the injury or death of a family member or loved one.
To learn more about seeking damages for emotional distress, you should consult with an experienced Fayetteville personal injury lawyer today.
Pursuing Damages for Emotional Distress After a Car Accident in Arkansas
Emotional distress can be claimed as damages in a personal injury lawsuit. To determine the appropriate amount of compensation for emotional distress, it is crucial to understand how the emotional distress affected the victim. For example, if the victim experiences recurring nightmares and requires counseling, this could impact the amount they are owed for damages.
To be awarded damages for emotional distress, a victim of an accident will first have to prevail in their car accident lawsuit. To prove a car accident lawsuit, a victim will typically have to show how a defendant acted negligently. This can be accomplished by presenting evidence of the defendant’s negligence. For example, if you can show that the defendant ran a red light, this will help prove your claim.
There are four elements that must be met in order to show how a defendant acted negligently:
- The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care
- The defendant breached the duty of care (e.g., speeding, running a stop sign)
- The defendant caused the plaintiff to sustain injuries and possibly other losses
- The plaintiff can be awarded damages by a court of law
Once these elements are proven, a defendant can receive damages for emotional distress and damages for other losses like medical bills and vehicle repairs. Emotional distress is a form of damages that are considered non-economic damages. That means that emotional distress must be calculated based on subjective and objective factors. For example, the mental anguish inflicted by watching the death of a loved may be awarded differently than distress caused by a broken bone in a car crash.
In some cases, it would be possible to seek damages for the intentional infliction of emotional distress. However, there are specific elements that must be proven for a plaintiff to prove intentional infliction of emotional distress:
- The defendant had intended to inflict emotional distress or should have known their actions would inflict emotional distress
- The defendant’s conduct was extreme and outrageous
- The defendant actions led to the plaintiff’s distress
- The emotional distress suffered by the plaintiff was severe
Our firm can help you determine whether the circumstances of your case can help you seek a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress.
When Should a Plaintiff File a Car Accident Lawsuit in Arkansas?
The statute of limitations is a law that details the amount of time that a potential plaintiff has to file a certain type of lawsuit. Every state has statutes of limitations laws that should be followed when filing a civil claim and even a criminal claim. When a plaintiff does not adhere to the timelines set by a car accident lawsuit, they risk having the suit barred by a court of law.
In Arkansas, car accident lawsuits fall under the umbrella of a personal injury claim. This means that a potential plaintiff only has three years from the date of the injury to file their lawsuit with a court. A potential plaintiff should avoid guessing the amount of time they have left to file a lawsuit. Our firm would be happy to help you determine the statute of limitations deadline for your case.
Consult with Our Experienced Arkansas Car Accident Lawyer to Discuss Damages for Emotional Distress
If you or a family member was injured in a car accident, you should consult with an experienced Arkansas car accident attorney to discuss your emotional distress injuries. With over 20 years of legal experience, Ken Kieklak is prepared to provide a victim of a car accident with the legal representation they deserve. Victims of a car accident do not have to fight their case alone. To schedule a free legal consultation to speak about your car accident, contact Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, at (479) 316-0438. You may also contact Ken Kieklak using our online submission form.