How California Defines Emotional Distress
Emotional distress is also defined as “mental anguish.” This occurs as a result of an individual purposefully engaging in an intentional behavior that causes severe pain onto another. The aggrieved individual is then left with mental or emotional health issues. These issues may be exhibited by feelings of:
- Panic attacks
- Substance abuse
Emotional distress is most commonly seen among those who are 18 years old and older. Women are far more likely to experience serious psychological distress compared to men. Lastly, the most common races to experience mental anguish are in order:
- White Americans
Additionally, emotional distress may be associated with adults who experience injuries from:
- Bicycle Accidents
- Brain Injuries
- Burn Injuries
- Car Accidents
- Dog Bites
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Pedestrian Accidents
- Premises Liability
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Truck Accidents
- Uber & Lyft Accidents
- Wrongful Death
If you are dealing with emotional distress because of a personal injury, you are entitled damages for your pain and suffering. Mental injury can result from the actions of another person, whether intentionally or accidentally. Due to this reason, damages for emotional distress were created to allow victims to recover compensation for their pain and suffering.
Can I Sue For Emotional Distress?
Yes, depending on the situation. It’s essential to be aware that you have the rights when it comes to emotional suffering. If you or someone you love was harmed by an individual’s reckless actions, it could have a lasting psychological effect which may cause a victim to experience a negative impact on their emotional lives.
Gathering Evidence to Sue
If your injury results in you filing a personal injury lawsuit, it’s likely that you’ll be seeking medical treatment. When discussing your symptoms with your doctor, please include both physical and psychological injuries that took place after the incident.
Medically-documented emotional distress is an essential component to implement in your personal injury case. It’s important to keep a journal or diary to record how your emotions have been affected and the ways these changes have impacted your lifestyle. Having detailed evidence of your situation will strengthen your claim and likelihood of recovery.
To show proof of the negative after effects of a personal injury resulting in emotional distress, you must provide evidence to back up your case. Examples include but are not limited to:
- Photographs of dents in a car from a rear-end hit.
- Broken stairs that contributed to your fall.
- Torn clothes to show the level of severity of harm inflicted.
- Defective car parts resulting in a car accident, such as a tire exploding or brakes not working.
Physical evidence that is not recorded or photographed in the days following an accident may get lost or altered as time passes by. It is always best to note or photograph all proof as soon as possible.
Below is detailed information on how to provide evidence of emotional distress to help with your claim:
- Mental Health Records: Your mental health professional can write a statement with their evaluation of your mental and emotional condition. They may also verify the type of mental illness(es) you are suffering from such as:
- Panic Disorder
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Witness Statements: Ask those around you, whether it be your loved ones, co-workers, employer, or friends, for written statements to confirm that they were a witness to the treatment you suffered and any emotional distress you’ve experienced. They may have noticed the dramatic change in the way you’ve been acting and can help support your claim.
- Using a Journal or Diary: Write detailed notes about the actions that caused you to suffer the emotional distress and how you’ve been feeling ever since the event took place. Ideal topics to mention could be:
- Daily pain levels
- Sleeping problems
- Having nightmares
What Kind Of Damages Can You Recover for Emotional Distress?
It’s difficult to configure a price point on damages for emotional distress. If your claim happens to go to trial, the jury will decide on the exact amount. There are specific factors that will influence what amount you may be awarded, which include the level of emotional distress you have suffered or if the emotional distress you are dealing with is either temporary or permanent.
When You Need an Attorney
If you have been suffering from emotional distress after a personal injury and are making the decision of bringing a lawsuit against the individual at fault, it’s important to seek legal guidance from a trusted personal injury attorney from West Coast Trial Lawyers.
Our personal injury attorneys can protect your rights when the insurance company uses factors against you, such as pre-existing mental health issues. If you have suffered emotional distress because of an injury, you deserve the best legal service from our skilled team of personal injury attorneys.
West Coast Trial Lawyers Is Here to Help
Our personal injury attorneys will not charge you for a consultation. Our clients are represented on a contingency fee basis. If we do not win, you owe us nothing. There is no financial risk to prevent you from reaching out. Our qualified personal injury lawyers are highly-trained and have extensive experience with cases that are similar to yours. We are committed to helping you resolve your legal issues as quickly as possible while receiving the best results.