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If I was in severe accident, but didn't get seriously injured, but have emotional distress can i sue

Chesterton, IN |

I was delivering water to a steel mill. I was parked and a bulldozer pulling a rail car started heading in my direction. I thought he would stop since our truck was clearly in his path, but he did not and started to tearing our truck to pieces. He stop right before a big piece of metal crushed me and it was less than a foot from my body. I have never been so terrified in all my life and it has made me stressed about it. All the rescue team couldn't believe I wasn't seriously injured, but I have been thinking about it constantly and it has stressed me out. I got bruises and and a bump with a small cut on my head, but nothing serious. Can i sue from being almost killed by a negligence driver?

Attorney Answers 6


  1. Many injuries manifest later, so please get yourself thoroughly checked out by a doctor, and discuss your case in full with a local personal injury lawyer. Avvo has a terrific "find a lawyer" tool.


  2. Negligent infliction of emotional distress claims are typically difficult to advance and often require, in addition, a physical injury. Consult an IN personal injury attorney for further clarity.

    The author of this answer is an Attorney-at-Law, licensed to practice law only in the state of Arizona. Unless both you and the author have signed a formal retainer agreement, you are not the author's client, and the author's discussion of issues does not constitute legal advice. Opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author, and are neither privileged nor confidential.


  3. First, when someone is injured by a third party while at work there is a potential work comp claim as well as a claim against the third party. You must consider the work comp claim first because once you settle a third party claim you may not be able to bring a work comp claim. Your third party claim would be for Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress (NIED). The Indiana courts have said the following about NIED "When a plaintiff sustains a direct impact by the negligence of another and, by virtue of that direct involvement sustains emotional trauma which is serious in nature and of a kind and extent normally expected to occur in a reasonable person, the court holds that such a plaintiff is entitled to maintain an action to recover for that emotional trauma without regard to whether the emotional trauma arises out of or accompanies any physical injury to the plaintiff". We can not directly contact you or tell you who to contact. but you do need to speak with a Indiana personal injury attorney asap.


  4. Just like an physical injury, a psychological injury must be supported by medical evidence. Absent psychotherapy, there is no point in bringing a claim for emotional damages. I agree with my colleague that you really need to be checked-out to make sure you sustained no physical injury.

    If this information has been helpful, please indicate by providing feedback that the answer was either "helpful" or "best answer" as appropriate. Legal Disclaimer: Mr. Candiano is licensed to practice law in Illinois and Indiana. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question.


  5. You have both a workers compensation claim and a potential claim against the negligent driver. You should seek treatment for your emotional injuries, if you have not done so already. Your employer is obligated to pay for this through workers compensation insurance. You also need to speak to a personal injury attorney about a possible third-party claim.

    You should obtain needed medical care and treatment immediately and follow the doctor's advice. Do not give any statement to the adverse party or insurance company nor grant them access to any medical records. Photograph the injuries and the damage done to any property. Contact a personal injury attorney in your area as soon as possible so that you can protect your rights. You may also find it helpful to review the Legal Guides I have published on Avvo.com dealing with many of the issues you are now facing. The Guides can be accessed through my profile page on Avvo.com.

    Legal Disclaimer:

    If this information has been helpful, please indicate below.

    Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.

    Legal Disclaimer: If this information has been helpful, please indicate below. Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.


  6. You may be able to make a claim for emotional injuries, but in Indiana they need to be accompanied by some physical "impact". Also, your measure of damages will be the actual damages caused to you, not the damages that could have been caused to you. It is best that you contact a local personal injury attorney to have all your questions answered. Good luck!

    Chris Wyant Attorney at Law Brown Tompkins Lory & Mastrian 608 East Market Street Indianapolis, Indiana 46202 317-631-6866 phone 317-685-2329 fax cwyant@btlmlaw.com www.btlmlaw.com

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