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How Claims of Emotional Distress Work in a Maryland Auto Accident Cases

Most people understand that if they are injured in an accident that was caused by someone else, they may have a right of recovery for their injuries and physical damages, often known as special damages or economic damages. These are damages that are quantifiable; they can be measured based on treatment costs or vehicle repair estimates, for example. Where some confusion lies is in understanding the different types of compensation available under general damages or non-economic damages. These cover subjective compensation like pain and suffering. They can also include mental and emotional trauma in some cases.

Pursuing a claim for emotional distress can be extremely complex, which is why it is imperative that you retain an experienced Waldorf personal injury attorney who can help. Your attorney can evaluate your situation and explain whether this type of recovery is available in your particular case, and what type of compensation you can potentially expect to recover.

Emotional Distress in Maryland

In many cases, emotional distress is lumped in with pain and suffering. Accidents can lead to all sorts of mental trauma, including depression, anxiety, loss of self-confidence, stress, and more. In order to recover any financial compensation for emotional distress under Maryland law, you will need to show that there is some physical manifestation of your mental suffering. This means you need to have some physical effects that have resulted from your emotional trauma.

Some examples can include:

  • Prescribed medication to treat the symptoms you have;
  • You have developed a medical condition that correlates to a medical diagnosis;
  • You received treatment from a medical professional for the condition; or
  • Your doctor recorded psychological symptoms in his or her reports.

Your medical records alone are not sufficient to prove emotional distress, but they can set the stage for better understanding your case and how it led to physical injuries. This could have been through the intensity of your emotional trauma, how it caused other bodily harm, and how the duration affected your emotional well-being. In most cases, your attorney will look to retain a noted expert who can provide their testimony or written opinions on emotional distress. You need someone who is able to make the connection between emotional distress and your physical injuries.

Does Maryland Have a Cap on Non-Economic Damages?

Maryland is a state that has a statutory cap on non-economic damages. This means it does not matter how well you can prove your injuries and how severe the accident was, there is a maximum amount you can recover in cases involving Maryland accidents.

When the law was enacted, the initial ceiling was $650,000. This included pain and suffering, emotional distress, and any other damages that fall under “non-economic.” This amount has gradually increased each year, and the current cap for 2019 is $860,000. This does not apply to your medical bills, loss of earnings, car repairs, etc. This cap only applies to your non-economic damages.

Contact a Maryland Personal Injury Attorney Today

If you need assistance pursuing a personal injury claim in Maryland, contact the Law Offices of Robert R. Castro today at 301-870-1200 to schedule an initial consultation.