Skip to main content

Do I need an attorney to be $ compensated for emotion distress, med. costs & total vehicle loss? Is personal injury physical?

Savannah, GA |

Early one fall morning my car was struck by an intoxicated driver on interstate 95. He was arrested on the spot & my car was deemed a total loss.
Several months later, I was driving straight on a busy city roadway. Just before I approached a major intersection with a green light, I was hit on the drivers side by a car, initially in left turn lane, but decided not to turn just before her light turned green. As a result, my suv rolled, landing upside down, perpendicular to traffic. I climbed out of the driver side window. My suv was a total loss. I have not been able to drive past that intersection in over a year. I go out of my way to find an alternate route daily as it is part of my m-f route home.

+ Read More

Attorney answers 9

Best Answer

To answer a question on your first accident: Yes you can recover damages for physical and emotional distress as a result of an accident, even if your physical injuries were not severe. Because this is a DUI, you also can seek unlimited punitive damages against the intoxicated driver. It's possible punitive damages may even be covered by his insurance policy if he was insured, meaning you might be able to recover the full limits of his insurance just by the fact he was DUI.
As to the second collision the same applies regarding emotional distress damages. The fact you cannot even go by the spot is relevant to your pain and suffering damages. Make sure you are not hurt physically. Go to a doctor and get checked out. Lastly, you need to hire an experienced PI attorney for each of these accidents to guide you through this process and maximize your recovery. We are located in Savannah and would be happy to provide you a free consultation.


So sorry about what happened. That's awful. No, personal injury, including related to car accidents, is not just physical. You can recover damages for emotional harm (pain & suffering) caused as well, but you'll need an attorney versed & experienced in seeking those specific type of damages. Best wishes.

Sam Levine, Esq.
(404) 303-8875


I'm sorry for your misfortune.

Often, with no attorney, you will get an offer of zero, or a "nuisance" offer. Even where you get a serious offer, it will generally be 70-80% less than what would have been made with counsel. See a lawyer in your area as soon as possible.

If you find this answer helpful, please mark it here on AVVO as helpful. In answering you, I am attempting to communicate general legal information and am not representing you (and am not your lawyer). Do feel free to call me at 404-768-3509 if you wish to discuss actual representation (the phone call also does not retain counsel; that requires an office visit and appropriate paperwork). In that a forum such as this provides me with limited details and doesn't allow me to review details and documents, it is possible that answers here, while meant to be helpful, may in some cases not be complete or accurate, and I highly recommend that you retain legal counsel rather than rely on the answers here. (You can also email my office at . An email also does not retain my office, but can help you get an appointment set if you prefer not to call). I am happy to discuss possible representation with you. Any information in this communication is for discussion purposes only, and is not offered as legal advice. There is no right to rely on the information contained in this communication and no attorney-client relationship is formed. Nothing in my answer should be considered as tax-advice. To ensure compliance with IRS Circular 230, any U.S. federal tax advice provided in this communication is not intended or written to be used, and it cannot be used by the recipient or any other taxpayer (i) for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties that may be imposed on the recipient or any other taxpayer, or (ii) in promoting, marketing or recommending to another party a partnership or other entity, investment plan, arrangement or other transaction addressed herein. I am also required to advise you, if your question concerns bankruptcy, that the U.S. Congress has designated Ashman Law Office as a debt relief agency that can help people file bankruptcy.


I agree with the 1st response you received. Also, assuming this happened in Georgia, you only have 2 years from the date of a collision to either settle your claim or file suit. If you wait too long, you lose your legal rights. I would recommend calling an attorney today and just ask for a free legal consultation. You can do it over the phone, it costs nothing, and you will get helpful information.

Best wishes,

Attorney Pete Pearson


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 dealing with many of the issues you are now facing. The Guides can be accessed through my profile page on

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.

This ans. does not create an attorney/client relationship.


You should retain a local personal injury lawyer to investigate.


I agree with the responding attorneys that you should consult with an experienced car accident attorney to review your case and advise you further. Best of luck.


The answer to your first question is "yes," you need to be compensated for emotional distress, medical costs, and total vehicle loss. In Georgia, the measure of damages for pain and suffering and emotional distress is the enlightened conscience of an impartial jury. The measure of damages for medical costs is the actual cost. The measure of damages for the total vehicle loss is the value of the vehicle just before the collision less the value just after the collision.

The answer to your second question is "yes," but personal injury is also non-physical, which means past, present, and future mental suffering and anguish, among others. There is a third type of damages, called punitive damages, which may be available in cases involving an impaired driver. The purpose of punitive damages is to punish and deter the wrongdoer. In cases involving alcohol, such as your first wreck, there is no limit on the amount of punitive damages that may be awarded and recovered, although some liability policies exclude punitive damages from coverage.

Please protect your legal interests by retaining a lawyer that you can trust, as soon as possible. Otherwise, it is your responsibility to protect your interests. If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact me at (877) 627-7452. Good luck.

Answers to questions on this web site are for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Unless you and Troy W. Marsh, Jr. have signed a written contract, Troy W. Marsh, Jr. is not your attorney, and you are not his client.


I'm sorry you have had to deal with this. Emotional distress is certainly a part of your pain and suffering. If you have not already settled your claim, I would recommend contacting an attorney immediately to maximize what you are due from the negligence of others.

If this information has been helpful, please mark it as "Best Answer" or "Helpful". For more information, contact Joe Lariscy's office at or (706) 353-7722. Our office offers a free 60-minute consultation to discuss your case. Joe Lariscy is only licensed to practice law in the state of Georgia. 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.

Avvo personal injury email series

Sign up to receive a 3-part series of useful information and advice about personal injury law.

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer