Can I Sue for Emotional Distress?

Can I Sue for Emotional Distress?

BY JR Krebs | May 27, 2024 |
Can I sue for emotional distress

Experiencing a traumatic event can lead not only to physical injuries but also to severe emotional distress. If someone else's actions have caused you major emotional harm, you might wonder if you can sue for that distress.

In law, emotional distress is a legitimate reason for seeking compensation. You can file a lawsuit for emotional trauma if you can prove that someone's actions caused your mental suffering.

Suing for emotional distress isn't straightforward because emotional injuries are harder to identify than physical injuries. This claim requires you to demonstrate how the defendant's behavior affected your emotional state.

Partnering with a compassionate personal injury lawyer can enhance your ability to go through these complexities successfully. At Krebs Law, we can help you address these issues. Emotional distress cases are complicated. Let us fight for you.

Understanding Emotional Distress Claims

An emotional distress claim is a legal action taken when someone suffers psychological harm due to another person's negligent or intentional acts. Depending on the circumstances, this claim can be part of a broader personal injury case or stand on its own.

Emotional distress includes suffering from anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These claims help the affected person receive compensation for their mental anguish. We help you demand compensation for extreme and outrageous conduct.

There are two forms of emotional distress claims. The first is intentional infliction, and the second is negligent infliction. Each type has specific legal criteria that must be met to make a claim. Knowing these criteria is critical for anyone considering this legal route.

Emotional distress claims require substantial proof of the distress and its impact on your life. This often involves detailed personal testimony and expert witnesses.

Types of Emotional Distress Claims (Intentional Infliction and Negligent Infliction)

Intentional infliction of emotional distress transpires when someone behaves in a way that is meant to cause you severe emotional suffering. This behavior must be extreme and outrageous beyond the bounds of decency.

Common examples include threats of physical harm, stalking, or repeated harassment. These actions must lead to your emotional distress and have a severe impact on your daily functioning.

Negligent infliction of emotional distress happens when someone causes you emotional suffering through careless actions. Unlike intentional infliction, the person doesn't aim to cause distress but does so through negligence.

For instance, causing a car accident while texting and driving leads to emotional trauma for the other driver. Proving negligent infliction involves demonstrating that the person had a duty of care they did not uphold. This must have led to your emotional distress.

Legal Requirements for Emotional Distress Claims

Legal requirements for emotional distress claims

To pursue an emotional distress claim, certain legal requirements must be met. These vary depending on whether the distress was caused intentionally or through negligence.

Criteria for Proving Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress

To prove intentional infliction of emotional distress, you need to show that the defendant's conduct was extreme and outrageous. This conduct must be so atrocious that it goes beyond all possible bounds of decency.

Furthermore, the defendant must have intended to cause distress or have known that such distress was likely to occur. The resulting emotional distress must also be severe, affecting your mental health. This could even include witnessing a wrongful death.

Criteria for Proving Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress

You must prove that the defendant owed you a duty of care for negligent infliction of emotional distress. You need to show that they breached that duty through negligence and that this breach caused your emotional distress.

It is important to prove that a reasonable person under the same circumstances would have experienced similar distress. This type of claim often accompanies physical injury claims but can stand alone if the emotional impact is considerable.

Evidence Needed in Emotional Distress Claims

Collecting and presenting the right evidence is critical in emotional distress claims. This evidence must connect the defendant's conduct with your emotional suffering.

Documenting Emotional and Psychological Harm

Documenting your emotional and psychological harm involves detailed records. We can help you get them from your therapist or counselor. Keeping a journal of your daily emotional state and how it affects your life can also be helpful. This personal account can provide a timeline that illustrates the extent of your suffering.

The Importance of Medical and Psychological Expert Testimony

Expert testimony from mental health professionals can strengthen your claim. These experts can explain the nature of your emotional distress and its likely causes to the court. Their professional assessment provides the scientific backing to substantiate your claims.

Calculating Damages for Emotional Distress

Calculating damages for emotional distress

Calculating damages in an emotional distress claim is challenging. It involves assessing the depth and duration of your suffering. It is about the immediate effects and how your life may be altered in the long run.

Factors Considered in Valuing Emotional Distress Damages

  • Duration and intensity of emotional distress. The longer and more intense your emotional distress, the higher the potential damages. Chronic emotional conditions like PTSD are taken seriously in these assessments.
  • Physical symptoms associated with emotional distress. Physical manifestations of emotional distress are important. They include insomnia, headaches, or stomach issues. These can increase the compensation amount. These symptoms help demonstrate the severity of your emotional suffering.
  • Impact on daily life. It is important to consider how your emotional distress has impacted your ability to work and perform daily activities. The more your normal life is disrupted, the higher the compensation you might receive.
  • Cost of mental health treatment. The expenses related to counseling and therapy contribute to the damages. Ongoing mental health care costs are also considered.
  • Pre-existing mental health issues. If you had mental health issues before the incident, it might affect the amount of damages. However, the incident may have exacerbated these issues. This factor could also potentially increase compensation.

The Steps in Filing an Emotional Distress Claim

Filing an emotional distress claim involves several detailed steps, which ensure that all aspects of the case are properly handled.

  1. Consult with a personal injury lawyer. Review your case with a skilled personal injury attorney. Your lawyer should be aware of emotional distress claims. They can offer valuable guidance on your legal options.
  2. Document your emotional distress. Begin gathering documentation related to your emotional distress, including medical records, therapy notes, and a personal journal.
  3. Identify the defendant. Clearly identify who is responsible for your emotional distress. This could be an individual, a company, or multiple parties.
  4. Gather evidence. Collect all evidence linking the defendant's actions to your emotional distress. This includes witness statements, expert testimony, and any relevant documents.
  5. File an emotional distress claim. Your lawyer will help you draft and submit an official claim. This should detail your emotional injuries and the compensation you are seeking.
  6. Negotiate a settlement. Many emotional distress claims are settled out of court. Your attorney will negotiate with the defendant or their insurer to reach a fair settlement.
  7. Go to trial if necessary. If a satisfactory settlement cannot be reached, your attorney will represent you in court, presenting your case to a judge or jury.

Challenges in Emotional Distress Litigation

Litigating emotional distress claims presents unique challenges. These come from the subjective nature of emotional and psychological harm.

Proving the Extent of Emotional Harm

Proving the extent of emotional harm requires substantial evidence. Emotional injuries are not as obvious as physical ones. You must demonstrate that emotional distress occurred and how deeply it affected your life. This often involves detailed testimony and documentation.

Overcoming Skepticism in Court

Emotional distress claims can sometimes be met with skepticism by juries and judges. Overcoming this skepticism requires clear, consistent, and compelling evidence. We can help you show the distress and its impact. An experienced personal injury lawyer is pivotal in presenting your case credibly and convincingly.

Why You Should Partner With Our Tuscaloosa Personal Injury Lawyer

Why you should partner with our Tuscaloosa personal injury lawyer
  • Experienced representation. Our Tuscaloosa personal injury lawyer has years of experience handling emotional distress claims. We know the challenges of these cases and how to deal with them successfully.
  • Personalized attention. We give each case the personalized attention it deserves. Every emotional distress case is unique and requires a tailored approach.
  • Proven track record. Our firm has a long history of successfully securing just settlements and verdicts for our clients. We are dedicated to getting you the compensation you need to heal and move forward. We can file an emotional distress lawsuit on your behalf.
  • Comprehensive legal support. From gathering evidence to negotiating settlements and fighting for you in court, we address all aspects of your claim. You can focus on your recovery while we handle the legal details.
  • No upfront costs. We operate on a contingency fee basis, which means you pay nothing unless we win your case. This allows you to pursue justice without financial worry. Let us help you prove emotional distress.

Connect With Krebs Law for a Free Consultation To Discuss Your Case

Connect with Krebs Law for a free consultation to dicuss your case

If you believe you have suffered severe emotional distress due to someone else's actions, don't hesitate to reach out for legal help.

Contact Krebs Law today for a free consultation to discuss your emotional distress claim. Proving emotional distress is challenging, but we can help you build a strong emotional distress case.

Schedule your free consultation now. Our skilled personal injury lawyer is ready to fight for your rights. We can help you demand the compensation you're entitled to. Let us help you succeed over this challenging time with confidence and support.

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