Most people know they’re able to sue or file a claim against someone whose negligent act caused their injuries. A person who sustains a broken bone or head injury is likely to gain compensation because there will be an established medical record and evidence that an injury occurred. What about injuries that are not physical, though?
Many wonder if they’re able to sue for any emotional distress an injury caused them. The short answer is you can sue or file a claim for emotional distress. However, this is hard to prove, especially if your case goes to court. A personal injury attorney can help you navigate the complexities of your claim.
What Is Emotional Distress?
Emotional distress is a type of pain and suffering. Under the legal definition, emotional distress is an unpleasant emotional reaction resulting from someone else’s conduct. If you’re suffering from an emotional injury, you should inform your attorney so they can include it in your claim correctly. Some examples of emotional distress are:
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Depression or anxiety
- Panic attacks
It’s important to note that most emotional distress claims require you to have suffered from some sort of physical injury. Depending on the case, like sexual abuse or defamation cases, the psychological trauma alone can be grounds for an emotional distress claim without a physical injury.
How to Sue for Emotional Distress
Suing or filing a claim for emotional distress is a long and complicated process. However, an attorney will help you through your case and answer any questions you may have. For the most part, though, there are always a few things you can do to help your case. First, document your distress to back up your claim. This can include medical records, personal journals, or work records. The better you’re able to document your pain, the more likely you’ll be able to receive compensation.
You should also keep an open line of communication between you and your attorney. For them to help you, you’ll have to be open and honest about your emotional pain. Additionally, the defendant’s attorney may try to negotiate a settlement to avoid trial. Before accepting any settlement, you should always consult with your attorney. If they think you can obtain more, they may negotiate for more compensation.
Symptoms of emotional distress may not be visible to the average person, making documenting and proving pain more difficult. If your case does go to court, you’ll have to ensure that witness testimonies are consistent. Expert witnesses, like your doctor, may be called to testify.
Intentional and Negligent Emotional Distress Claims
When constructing a legal claim, your attorney first must determine whether your emotional distress was intentional or negligent. For example, if a driver purposely crashes their car into yours out of rage or to cause you harm, the act was intentional. On the other hand, if a driver crashed into your vehicle while breaking a law, like texting or driving under the influence, the act was negligent.
What Evidence Do I Need for an Emotional Distress Claim?
Evidence is a significant component in any case, and it’s even more critical for emotional distress claims. If you plan to sue for mental suffering, you’ll need a substantial amount of evidence to prove your case. Some examples of evidence include:
- Physical injuries
- Medical reports
Medical records and symptom diaries also can be used as evidence to lend credibility to your case.
Contact Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys in Colorado
If you’re suffering emotional pain because of someone else, you deserve compensation. Emotional suffering could lead to loss of work, thus putting you behind on bill payments or not having enough money to pay for groceries. It’s essential to seek proper legal guidance, and the knowledgeable attorneys at the Mintz Law Firm are here to help.
Our team of attorneys is passionate about achieving justice for all our clients. We view our clients as people, not numbers. With over 150 years of combined experience, Mintz Law Firm’s attorneys know how to achieve their clients’ best results.
Call (303) 462-2999 or complete an online contact form to schedule a free consultation.