Can You Sue Over Emotional Distress?

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If you have a personal injury case on your hands, your lawyer is likely working on getting you compensation for compensatory and punitive damages. However, you may have a claim to receiving damages for emotional distress as well. Here are some factors that are considered to determine if you have a valid case on your hands.

The Cause

There needs to be a valid cause behind emotional distress, with more extreme cases having more validation to your distress. For example, a slip and fall case may not be enough to justify emotional distress, but a physical assault would. The extent of the injury can also lead to having more emotional distress, with a major hospitalization that leaves you on bed rest being more distressing than some stitches. 

The Duration

You should also consider how long you've been experiencing emotional distress since duration can be a huge factor. Injuries can sometimes trigger PTSD and have effects that last for many years to come. If you were in a car accident, it may cause you to not feel comfortable behind the wheel of a vehicle for quite some time. This is a valid form of emotional distress that was due to the injury you sustained. 

The Intensity

Emotional distress can have various intensities. Having strong feelings of humiliation or anxiety can make it challenging to deal with on a daily basis. This is quite the opposite of a simple feeling of annoyance that may come from dealing with an injury and going through the recovery process. You'll need to demonstrate to a judge how emotional distress had made life a challenge so that you can be compensated for it properly. 

The Proof

It will help to have some sort of documentation related to your injury to help back up your claim. For example, saying you are emotionally distressed will not be enough. It will help to visit a doctor or therapist to demonstrate that you have emotional distress and are dealing with it. These medical expenses can also be factored into your overall compensation as well, so you are not paying for it out of your own pocket. 

Do you think you have a valid case for the emotional distress that's related to a personal injury claim? Be sure to let your lawyer know about your situation. They'll discuss your options to ensure that you receive compensation for this type of injury that is hard to prove.

For more information, contact a personal injury attorney.