Looking to Sue Someone for Emotional Distress? Here Are Key Facts 

Navigating the legal system may be difficult, particularly when dealing with sensitive issues like emotional distress. In this blog article, we will answer the question, “Is it possible to sue someone for emotional distress?” Even though physical injuries are often associated with legal claims, it is crucial to acknowledge the significance of emotional trauma and its potential impact on your well-being. 

What Is Emotional Distress?  

Emotional distress is defined legally as any kind of suffering that a person experiences as a result of an accident or injury, regardless of its physical manifestation. If a person survives a vehicle accident but develops PTSD as a result, they may be entitled to seek financial compensation for their mental pain by pursuing a personal injury claim.  

Part of the complexity of claiming emotional distress stems from the fact that damages of this sort are hard to quantify as they vary from one individual to the next. For example, in two people who have survived a workplace accident, different injuries could manifest differently. Both victims may have mental health issues; one may get PTSD, and the other may suffer from depression.  

Types of Emotional Distress Lawsuits  

You, as a personal injury victim, may pursue the following two types of emotional anguish cases:   

  • Negligent Infliction. If the person liable has a duty of care to guarantee your safety, failing to meet that requirement is considered carelessness. Medical malpractice, traffic accidents, and premises liability are just a few examples of litigation in which negligence may be a factor. You may receive damages if you file a lawsuit for bodily injury or wrongful death.   
  • Intentional Infliction. The word “intentional infliction” refers to when someone purposefully causes you emotional anguish. This category includes sexual assault, workplace harassment, discrimination, and any other kind of intentional infliction of trauma.  

How Can I Prove Emotional Stress?   

Since emotional distress is subjective and not physically visible, demonstrating it requires a different approach than demonstrating physical injury. Here’s a list of important factors and evidence to establish emotional pain:  

  • Intensity  

Your attorney may show that you have suffered damages by establishing the intensity of your emotional distress. The severity of the suffering determines the chances of securing compensation for the emotional distress endured. An accident may inflict major emotional injury, including but not limited to acute panic attacks, nocturnal terrors, and cases of agoraphobia.  

  • Duration  

Another aspect that may help reveal considerable mental distress is continuous and recurring pain that lasts for an extended period. For example, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that may last for a long time and have a major impact on a person’s quality of life. When evaluating the scope of the claim, showing the length of time the person had emotional distress is likely an important factor.  

  • Underlying Cause  

If the underlying cause of emotional distress is more severe, the court is more likely to find emotional pain. Surviving a bombing, for example, may be more likely to prove a claim than being involved in a standard vehicle accident that resulted in no physical damage. This is because bombs are more dangerous than ordinary automobile accidents.  

  • Evidence of Treatment  

You might use evidence, such as counseling sessions, therapy visits, or participation in support groups, to demonstrate the intensity of your emotional distress. 

Do You Have to Sue to Get Compensation for Emotional Distress?  

Although you may be able to file a lawsuit to get compensation for the mental agony you experienced as a consequence of an accident, your attorney may also discuss alternate options with you to collect the funds you want. For example, you may file a claim with your insurance company.   

The lawyers negotiate with insurance agents to get funds that will cover all of their client’s losses, which may include physical pain, emotional distress, and mental anguish. Most of the time, settling out of court can avoid incurring legal fees. 

Challenges of Suing for Emotional Distress  

Filing a lawsuit against someone for emotional distress is similar to navigating a complex maze, where evidence is the key to unlocking the exit. Despite this, even with the proper map, skepticism might arise at any time. Emotional stress, unlike bodily afflictions, is not visible; there is no scar or X-ray to reveal your misery. This is one of the reasons why expressing emotional distress might be difficult.  

To build a convincing case, the plaintiffs must have concrete proof linking the horrific events they suffered to their mental distress. This might include medical documentation demonstrating ongoing treatment for mental health difficulties or evidence from health specialists who can attest to changes in heart rate and significant anxiety linked to the defendant’s conduct.