Often, an injury or accident causes more than physical pain. It causes emotional distress. In some situations, the amount of physical injury is made worse by the emotional trauma involved. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the person who caused you to suffer. However, this is a complex area of law simply because it is hard to define how much emotional distress you feel or what dollar amount represents that trauma.
If you feel you have suffered emotional distress, it is essential to provide evidence and details proving this. This often takes some experience. Our attorneys at Siler & Ingber, LLP can help you to learn if you have a case and, if so, how much compensation you are owed.
What Is Legal Emotional Distress?
An accident creates more than physical trauma. It also creates mental distress. Generally, when you file a personal injury claim against a party, you will include emotional distress as a component of that claim. It is possible to file your claim solely on this type of loss, but it is very hard to prove it occurred. Most personal injury cases will have some level of emotional distress – it is not overlooked. However, some states will toss out cases that do not contain a physical component.
For example, you may have been involved in an altercation with another person. That person strikes you, and you suffer a broken nose. This leads to medical bills and lost time at work. This action itself is very traumatic and creates emotional distress. But, if you get into a verbal argument with someone and he or she angers and upsets you, but no physical loss is suffered, filing a lawsuit for this is very challenging.
How Do You Prove Emotional Distress Occurred?
Alongside your personal injury claim for any property loss or physical injury loss, you will need to determine how much loss you suffered as a result of emotional trauma. The court will use numerous factors to determine this type of loss. To determine your likelihood of having a case, consider these things.
What Form of Emotional Distress Occurred?
There are two main forms. Negligent infliction of emotional distress occurs when:
- The party acted in some way that was negligent, meaning he or she had the ability to avoid the incident and failed to do so and is responsible for this.
- This led to some type of severe emotional distress.
- There was a physical injury that occurred that caused or in some way contributed to your emotional distress.
The second form is intentional infliction of emotional distress. To prove this, you must show:
- The other party acted in a reckless and intentional manner.
- The behavior of the defendant was outrageous or considered inexcusable.
- This caused the emotional distress.
When Can You Bring a Claim for Emotional Distress?
Not just anyone can claim emotional distress. The person witnessing the violent altercation may not have suffered enough to file such a claim. Generally, if you suffered trauma you can bring this type of claim. However, there are instances in which emotional distress claims may come from others involved. For example, you may have been a bystander in an incident that was fearful of your own injury or death because of the actions or inactions of the defendant. Or, you may have witnessed a family member’s death at the hands of another person.
Proving Your Case Can Be Challenging
If you do not have a physical injury claim, it can be challenging to prove your emotional distress claim. As attorneys, it is our job to help you to do that. We work with clients who are faced with serious loss as well as emotional trauma resulting from the actions or inactions of another person. Our goal is to prove two things:
- You suffered emotional distress resulting from the other party’s outrageous or extreme behavior.
- You suffered some type of emotional harm resulting directly from the conduct of the defendant.
With a comprehensive understanding of your case, it becomes possible to better understand what your losses are. In addition, you may need to verify witness statements and gather data to support your claim. These are steps we can help you with at Siler & Ingber, LLP.
Ready to Find Out if You Have a Case? Schedule a Free Case Review
Even if you have been turned down previously, we encourage you to schedule a free case review with our legal team at Siler & Ingber, LLP. We offer an opportunity to learn about your case and whether or not you can get compensation for your losses. There’s no risk and plenty of answers. With over 20 years of experience and having helped our clients to over $50 million in settlements, we are confident we can help you. Use our online contact form to request more information or call us now at 877-718-6079.