Following a car accident of essentially any magnitude, the non-liable driver will probably want to sue the other driver for a variety of different damages. Initial medical bills, of course, must be addressed, as well as vehicle repair or replacement. They should also consider how time spent recuperating will impact their careers, and so they might want to sue for lost wages.
But what many car accident victims forget is how the traffic collision has impacted their emotional and mental states. A particularly violent car accident can be quite jarring, especially if it was entirely unexpected, as they often are. Many people are immediately instilled with a sense of dread whenever they need to get in or near an automobile, making day-to-day life tense and frightening. If you are experiencing similar emotional grief after being in a car accident, you need to consider suing for nominal damages.
Nominal Damages: Defined & Calculated
In personal injury claims, nominal damages are those related to a person’s emotional distress. While this is certainly an important part of any injury claim, it can be difficult to pursue in settlements or litigation. The counsel of the liable party may openly challenge your claim that you are struggling emotionally following a car accident. Speaking to a psychiatrist or physician about your pain and suffering could potentially bolster your chances of getting compensation.
Calculating the compensation is an entirely separate matter altogether. There is no definitive way to decide how much monetary compensation is needed to fairly care for someone who has been burdened by pain and grief. However, most personal injury attorneys use a simple formula of totaling the medical and repair costs of a car accident, and then multiplying that by a number between 3 and 10; the more traumatic the experience, the higher the number.
For example: You are hit in a rear-end accident that causes you to suffer whiplash and feel anxious whenever you are at red lights. It costs $10,000 to fix your car and give you rehabilitation for your neck. Your attorney might ask for another $30,000 in compensation ($10,000 x 3) for your anxiousness.
It all comes down to your legal counsel, though. If you want to sue for nominal damages, you need to make certain you are working with a personal injury lawyer that understands the nuances of the law. Boudreau & Nisivaco, LLC and our Chicago car accident attorneys have more than 50 years of combined legal experience and have won more than $100 million for our clients through verdicts and settlements. If you think that level of caliber should be handling your car accident claim, feel free to call 312.620.1261 or contact us online today.