Can You Sue For Emotional Harm?

Personal Injury Lawyer

Emotional distress damages are often a large component of recovery in many personal injury cases. If you’re injured and file a personal injury lawsuit, you usually will receive compensation for emotional harm, as it’s often part of “pain and suffering”. You may also receive recovery for more straightforward losses, like economic losses such as medical bills, lost wages and even loss of a job if it’s related to your injury.

The amount of emotional distress damages may vary, as it depends greatly upon the nature of your injuries and your cases specifics. If you don’t file a lawsuit, you may be able to negotiate a personal injury settlement with an insurance company. If you need help negotiating or filing a case, reach out to a personal injury lawyer, like the ones at Davis & Brusca LLC.

What Are Emotional Distress Damages?

Emotional distress damages are designed to compensate for the psychological impact that your injury has had on your life. The list of manifestations that emotional distress may appear as is long, but here are some common ones:

  • Loss of sleep.
  • Experiencing anxiety.
  • Experiencing fear.
  • Experiencing depression.
  • Even experiencing humiliation.

This list is varied, and emotional distress is considered to be a subjective type of harm. There’s no set definition that defines emotional harm, it changes from person to person.

Documenting Your Injuries

You need to document your injuries and how they are affecting your life, especially if you’re seeing a physician. Your doctor is going to be able to provide you with paperwork that documents your injuries as well, and your physician can even document emotional damages. This can help you get the compensation you deserve.

Keep a daily journal as well, to record your day—how are you feeling, how are your injuries, and how is your life changing because of those injuries?

The more evidence you provide, the more likely you’ll get a settlement with emotional damages included.

Does the Severity of Emotional Distress Matter?

It can. Everyone experiences a degree of emotional distress after an injury, but the severity of your distress has an impact on the amount of compensation you receive. This is important for your financial recovery. This makes it even more important for you to document your emotional states after an injury, especially one that you’re filing a lawsuit over.

You’ll need to show that your emotional distress is constant, ongoing and advancing as the days pass. Is it affecting your daily life, do you have to change how your life functions, and is it directly related to your injury?

If it is, then you’re not going to have a hard time claiming emotional distress with your pain and suffering compensation portion of your lawsuit. Some states do have damage caps on how much money a person can earn from emotional distress claims, especially in medical malpractice suits, so get a lawyer that knows these particular laws—in some instances, it may be best not to claim emotional damages, in others it’ll boost your compensation.