If you have been injured in an accident, you might have suffered mental trauma or emotional distress. You might be wondering, “Can I sue for emotional distress?”. It depends on the laws of the state where you were involved in the accident and it also depends on the outcome of the accident.
In a few states, you can seek damages for emotional distress if no injuries resulted from the accident. However, most states require you to have suffered some form of physical injury to be compensated for your emotional distress.
How to Sue For Emotional Distress
When you have been in an accident, you might encounter mental suffering because of the extreme, stressful experience you have encountered. Mental suffering that is common after an accident include guilt, depression, panic, suicidal tendencies, anxiety, and more.
Emotional distress can result from an intentional or accidental injury that has caused physical or mental harm or both. While emotional distress can cause physical harm to you, it is easier to win a physical injury claim because the evidence for physical harm is easy to see. Emotional distress can be harder to prove unless the conduct of the responsible party was extreme.
When Can I Sue for Emotional Distress?
Whether or not you can recover compensation through a lawsuit for emotional distress is dependent on the laws of the state where the accident occurred and the details surrounding the case. Usually, an individual will sue for emotional distress because he or she experienced mental trauma and emotional distress because of the injuries suffered in the accident.
In most states, your emotional distress must have resulted from a physical injury. In some states, you can pursue an emotional distress claim if negligence caused the emotional trauma. Usually, you can sue for emotional distress if one of the following has happened:
- You witness a family member’s injury or death
- You are a bystander to an event where you are in a danger zone and have reason to fear or injury or death
- A deceased family member’s body has been handled improperly
Individuals who are considered more fragile, such as pregnant women, children, or the elderly, are more likely to recover compensation for emotional distress claims. Individuals who are unusually emotional or sensitive might not receive any kind of emotional distress settlement.
Consult With A Personal Injury Attorney
If you have suffered mental anguish or emotional distress because of an accident, you should consult with a personal injury attorney in the state where your accident occurred. You want a lawyer who is familiar with the laws there regarding whether you can sue for emotional distress.
An attorney can significantly improve your odds of a successful claim and will know if your case meets the criteria for a successful settlement where you are located. Because statutes of limitations apply to personal injury claims, including those for emotional distress, you should consult with a personal injury attorney right away. Complete the Free Case Evaluation Form on this page to get your details shared with a local accident injury attorney.