If you have been injured in a car accident, you can recover money not only for your financial losses but also for the emotional damages you suffered as a result of your injuries. However, emotional damages can be difficult to calculate since they are non-economic losses.
Fortunately, our Maryland car accident attorneys can help determine an accurate value for your emotional damages. There is no exact formula to calculate emotional damages but a few methods provide some guidance. In many cases, your emotional losses can be shown by the impact your injuries have had on your life and the types of injuries you sustained.
Call Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (443) 251-3497 today to schedule your free review with our Maryland car accident lawyers.
Can You Get Money for Emotional Damages After Being Injured in a Maryland Car Accident?
The good news is that you can receive compensation for emotional damages resulting from a car accident in Maryland. Emotional damages, also known as “pain and suffering,” are designed to compensate car accident victims for the non-physical effects of their injuries, such as fear, anxiety, sleep disturbances, post-traumatic stress disorder, or other psychological conditions that arise following a car accident. Unlike damages such as medical bills and lost wages, emotional damages are non-economic in nature and cannot be determined by simply adding up your bills.
Thus, calculating compensation for emotional distress and other non-economic damages can be complex, as it depends on a variety of factors, including the severity of the injuries and how they have impacted the victim’s life. Fortunately, our Baltimore car accident attorneys have years of experience evaluating clients’ cases to determine what their non-economic damages are worth. However, Maryland law places limits on the amount of emotional damages you can be awarded in court.
How Your Emotional Damages Are Calculated
Damages for emotional suffering can be very hard to calculate because there is no concrete way to determine how much a person’s pain and suffering is worth. However, several methods have been developed to help attorneys with these calculations in Maryland car accident cases. These methods include the “multiplier” and “per diem” methods.
The multiplier method uses a multiplier to calculate the amount of money that should be awarded to a victim based on their specific injuries. A set of multipliers, usually between 1-4, will be applied based on the type of injuries you suffered. For example, if you suffer a broken leg in an accident caused by another driver, you would likely receive a multiplier of two times your medical bills and lost wages as compensation for your pain and suffering damages.
The other method to help calculate emotional damages is the per diem method. This structure applies a daily value to your pain and suffering damages, then multiplies that number by the number of days you have suffered emotional damages. This method is commonly used in cases with smaller dollar amounts being sought for emotional damages. The multiplier method is typically more useful for complex cases and cases involving serious injuries, where emotional damages might be more extensive.
Are There Limits to the Money You Can Get for Emotional Damages?
One critical aspect of emotional damages that all car accident victims should be aware of in Maryland is the legal cap on the amount of compensation that can be awarded. A cap is a limit on the money you receive for emotional damages and can seriously impact a car accident victim’s award if they suffered severe and life-changing injuries. However, the cap increases every year on October 1st by $15,000.
In 2023, the cap on the total amount of emotional damages you can recover in a car accident lawsuit is set at $920,000 under Md. Code, Cts. & Jud. Proc. Art., § 11-108(b). This means that $920,000 is the most you can receive for your emotional damages, regardless of the severity of your injuries. So, if a jury awards you $1,000,000 for your emotional damages, they will be reduced to the legal limit by the court. Fortunately, Maryland law does not cap your economic damages, such as your medical expenses and lost income.
What Types of Emotional Damages Can You Get Money for Following a Car Accident in Maryland?
There are many different types of emotional damages that you can get money for following a car accident in Maryland. While these types of damages can be difficult to show with bills and other financial losses, many are expected after being injured in a car accident, and the court will usually not deny compensation. The following are the most common forms of emotional damages claimed in a Maryland car accident lawsuit:
If you were injured in a car accident, you may have suffered mental anguish as a result. For example, if you were hit from behind while stopped at a traffic light, you might have experienced mental anguish because of your fear of being hit again by other cars coming up from behind. Mental anguish can also include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, and other types of psychological distress related to being involved in an accident.
Loss of Enjoyment of Life
Your life may change dramatically when you suffer a serious injury in an accident. You may no longer be able to enjoy the same recreational activities that you once enjoyed before the accident occurred. For example, suppose you were injured in a car accident and now suffer from chronic pain. In that case, you may find that you can no longer participate in sports or other physical activities because of your injuries. This loss of enjoyment of life can be compensated with monetary damages if the court believes that your injuries had affected your ability to live life as before the accident occurred.
Loss of Consortium
Loss of consortium is a type of emotional damage that can be awarded to the spouse of a person injured in an accident. It is meant to compensate the spouse for their loss of companionship, affection, and sexual relations with their partner. The spouse can be awarded loss of consortium damages if they were either present at the scene of the accident or close enough to be impacted by it but not physically injured in the incident.
Embarrassment and Humiliation
You can also recover compensation for feelings of humiliation and embarrassment. These damages are often related to your decreased quality of life. For instance, you might feel humiliated that you cannot participate in certain activities you did before the accident. You might also feel embarrassed to go out if you suffered visible scarring and disfigurement in your car accident.
Our Maryland Car Accident Attorneys Can Help
For a free case assessment with our Aberdeen car accident attorneys at Rice, Murtha & Psoras, call today at (443) 424-6323.