There are numerous consequences that can come with a car accident injury in Kona, Hawaii. For many people, the physical trauma that occurs in these accidents is their primary concern. However, it is also possible to face significant emotional trauma following an accident as well.
One of these forms of trauma is anxiety. For some people, living with the worry or stress caused by a serious accident can be more debilitating than any physical injury. Unfortunately, there are a number of hurdles that can block you from recovering compensation for your anxiety.
The attorneys of Olson & Sons could review your case and help you understand where your anxiety claim stands. In some situations, you might be entitled to damages for your emotional trauma. In other cases, you could recoup the cost of medical care related to this condition. Let our firm help you pursue an anxiety claim following a car accident in Kona, HI.
Anxiety Could Qualify as Pain and Suffering in Kona
Like many other states, Hawaii recognizes pain and suffering as something beyond just physical pain. This type of financial compensation could also be available due to the emotional harm that occurred in an accident.
Nearly every personal injury case includes some form of pain and suffering component. While physical pain is common, emotional trauma could also qualify. This means that your anxiety could result in a valid claim for pain and suffering compensation.
No-Fault Insurance Does Not Cover Pain and Suffering in Kona
Hawaii operates under something known as a no-fault insurance system. Under this system, most people are required to file a claim with their own insurance when they are in an accident. This allows for a person to recover compensation quickly, but it also limits their ability to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party. What’s more, this type of insurance coverage will not pay for non-economic damages like anxiety.
Other Limits on Pain and Suffering
The no-fault insurance system is not the only thing that could limit pain and suffering damages related to your anxiety. There is also a firm cap on non-economic damages recovered in a personal injury case. That means that even if your case qualifies for a personal injury claim, you can only recover a limited amount in non-economic damages. Currently, these damages are capped at $375,000.
There are some situations where this cap will not apply. If you were injured by an intentional act the cap does not apply to you. The same is true when there are multiple parties that are responsible for your accident.
Modified Comparative Negligence Could Reduce Your Recovery in Kona
Even if you are ultimately entitled to damages based on your anxiety, your own actions could play a part in diminishing your financial compensation. This is the case due to something known as modified comparative negligence. The modified comparative negligence doctrine limits your financial recovery when you are partially to blame for your own accident.
If you are primarily responsible for the accident, you are not entitled to recover any compensation for your injuries. If you share the fault but it is less than that of the other party, you could still recover compensation for your anxiety. However, this compensation could be reduced by the degree of your own fault. For example, if you were 20 percent at fault for the accident, your recovery for your anxiety and emotional distress would be reduced by 20 percent. If you were 55 percent at fault for the accident, you would not be able to recover anything.
Economic Damages Related to your Anxiety
The no-fault system might bar your claim for anxiety damages. Likewise, your recovery could be capped by statutory maximums. However, it is important to keep in mind that these limitations only apply to the non-economic damages you have suffered due to your anxiety. It is also possible for you to recover economic damages resulting from this condition, and the limitations do not apply.
Anxiety and stress can be medically documented by your primary care provider. If you are formally diagnosed and treated for this condition, the cost of your medical care could be covered. Because these damages are economic in nature, they are not limited by arbitrary caps or blocked by no-fault insurance rules.
Talk To A Kona Personal Injury Lawyer About Your Anxiety Damages
Compensation for your anxiety could be available following a car accident in Kona. However, there are unique challenges that can come with these damages. Schedule a free consultation with Kona Personal Injury Lawyer at Olson & Sons to discuss whether or not damages for your anxiety might be an option in your case.