Suing for Emotional Distress: How and When to Sue

More After most car accidents, you are left with a physical injury, new medical records, and a doctor’s testimony that helps you prove physical damages, But what about the mental ones?  What happens when a car accident leaves you with emotional scars? Is there help for that?  Truthfully, it’s not easy dealing with the aftermath […]
Published:  May 17, 2023

After most car accidents, you are left with a physical injury, new medical records, and a doctor’s testimony that helps you prove physical damages,

But what about the mental ones? 

What happens when a car accident leaves you with emotional scars? Is there help for that? 

Truthfully, it’s not easy dealing with the aftermath of an accident and the effects it has on you, but we have good news! 

With the help of Attorney Mike Hostilo and our legal team, you can get the compensation you deserve for the emotional distress you’ve suffered.

What is Emotional Distress?

Emotional distress is defined as the emotional or mental anguish caused by a traumatic experience or negligent act. If someone is experiencing emotional distress from a car accident, they may be dealing with anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder, all of which can be confirmed by a medical professional.

Sometimes, emotional distress isn’t diagnosable. Other victims of emotional distress may feel frustrated, overwhelmed, guilty, or powerless, and deal with insomnia, fatigue, memory issues, irritability, and social withdrawal. Everyone experiences emotional distress differently, and we can confirm your feelings are valid.

5 Types of Emotional Distress  

It’s common for most car accident victims to suffer some level of emotional distress following the incident, so it’s important to get your emotional distress documented by a medical professional to solidify your proof of injury. There are a few different types of emotional distress that one can experience following a collision.

1. General pain and suffering

Since some level of emotional distress is common after accidents, and most insurance companies expect to compensate you for the general pain and suffering of a car accident victim. When you submit your claim, you can include general pain and suffering in your case without seeking medical help.

If you have any symptoms of emotional distress, such as frustration, sadness, worry, or guilt from your accident, meet with your doctor to discuss your symptoms. Adding a doctor’s testimony to your claim can provide proof and help you get the compensation you deserve for missed school or work and medical bills.

2. Panic attacks or panic disorders

A panic attack is a sudden onset of intense anxious or fearful feelings. Panic attacks or panic disorders can be the result of enduring a traumatic event, like a car accident. Sufferers may experience symptoms such as chest pains, shortness of breath, sweating, shaking, trembling, increased heart rate, or a feeling of terror. 

3. Anxiety

Anxiety or anxiety disorders can develop as a result of a car accident. Anxiety can look like excessive worry, nervousness, difficulty concentrating, trouble sleeping, upset stomach, and hyperventilating. An anxiety disorder can be diagnosed by a doctor and can exhibit symptoms such as intense episodes of fear or terror. If you have symptoms of anxiety following a car accident, talk to your doctor and seek the help you deserve. 

4. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

PTSD is triggered by witnessing or being involved in a traumatic event, and it is a common result of a car accident. It is a more severe type of emotional distress and can be defined by any of the following symptoms:

  • Nightmares, flashbacks, or fearful thoughts regarding the traumatic experience
  • Having negative feelings about yourself, feeling blame, or negative changes in beliefs
  • Constantly on the lookout for danger, feeling jumpy or tense
  • Avoiding situations that might remind you of the traumatic event, such as driving or riding in a car after an accident

5. Depression

Many car accident victims suffer from depression, and it can be a result of a physical injury caused by the crash, as well. Being in pain, not being able to participate in activities because of an injury, or the financial strain of medical bills can all cause depression after an accident. Someone suffering from depression may exhibit symptoms such as:

  • Irritability
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Pessimism, sadness, consistent negative feelings
  • Difficulty concentration
  • Feeling guilty or hopeless

How to Sue?

Suing for emotional distress can be taxing, so working with an experienced attorney is the best way to begin this process. It’s important to have documentation of your emotional distress, so keep a journal of how you’re feeling each day and visit your doctor if you’re exhibiting feelings of emotional distress to receive testimony from a medical professional.

Together with your attorney, you will file a lawsuit against the other driver in the accident who caused the pain and suffering. You truly deserve to receive compensation for all that you have endured, so don’t be afraid to seek legal assistance. 

Need an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Near Me, Choose Mike Hostilo Law Firm Today! 

Whether you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, do not hesitate to seek legal help. For trusted legal advice for an accident claim, Mike Hostilo Law Firm is ready to help. Our experienced personal injury attorneys have a track record of success – and we can’t wait to put our experience to work for you! Schedule your initial free consultation today!

Our personal injury law firm handles a wide variety of cases. Attorney Mike Hostilo and our legal team has extensive experience in these practice areas:


Albany, GA

Atlanta, GA

Augusta, GA

Columbus, GA

Macon, GA

(Park of Commerce) Savannah, GA

(Abercorn) Savannah, GA

Statesboro, GA 


Beaufort, SC 


Phenix City, AL

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Locations - South CarolinaBeaufort
Law Offices - AlabamaPhenix City
*"Contingent attorneys” "No fee unless you win or collect" and "You only pay us if we win your personal injury claim" fees refer only to those fees charged by attorneys for their legal services. Such fees are not permitted in all types of cases. Court costs and other additional expenses of legal action usually must be paid by the client.

Any result the lawyer or law firm may achieve on behalf of one client in one matter does not necessarily indicate similar results can be obtained for other clients.

Mike Hostilo is not licensed to practice law in South Carolina.
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