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Emotional Distress Damages

In some personal injury cases a plaintiff may want to seek compensation for emotional distress as part of their damages. This article will discuss emotional distress damages and how they make up your personal injury claim.

According to the Cornell Law School Legal Information Institute [Emotional Distress | Wex | US Law | LII / Legal Information Institute (] emotional distress is defined as, “mental suffering as an emotional response to an experience that arises from the effect or memory of a particular event, occurrence, pattern of events or condition. Emotional distress can usually be discerned from its symptoms”. More often than not pain and suffering damages are a feature in many personal injury cases. Emotional distress damages are often a component of pain and suffering. The emotional distress is linked to the physical injuries the plaintiff has suffered as a result of an incident. Learn more about your emotional distress damages by speaking to a personal accident attorney.

It must be noted that how much is awarded for emotional distress and the ability to be awarded emotional distress damages varies greatly; and is primarily dependent on the nature of the physical injuries sustained and the type of case you are filing.

The basic provision of emotional distress damages is so as to compensate the plaintiff for the psychological effect that results from the injury in the plaintiff’s daily life. There are a number of symptoms that are a result of emotional distress including:

  • Fear
  • Anxiety
  • Loss of sleep
  • Depression
  • Humiliation

Note that emotional distress is subjective in nature and varies from one person to the next. As a result, there is no definite definition of what emotional distress is; therefore, if you experience psychological issues after being involved in an accident take note of them as they may be compensable. Further, note that what one person may find distressing another may not, and vice versa.

When a person chooses to file a personal injury lawsuit it is more likely than not that they are seeking medical treatment. As you seek medical treatment for the physical injuries that you have suffered, inform your doctor about the psychological symptoms that you are going through since the accident. When your emotional distress is medically documented by your doctor this is an important piece of evidence supporting your claim in your case. You should keep a journal or diary recording how you are feeling with regards to the accident and your injuries and how, no matter how slight, this has affected your daily life. The more evidence you can provide for emotional distress the stronger your claim will be for emotional distress damages and the more likely you will receive compensation.

It must be noted that the degree of your emotional distress is an important factor in your personal injury claim. This is because how severe your emotional distress is directly impacts your likelihood of receiving financial compensation. Therefore, take the time to document your own feelings and have your medical provider document the same.

Emotional distress is more likely to be compensated if it is ongoing, affects the basic way you live your life daily and is directly linked to your physical injuries caused by the incident.


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