For starters, you will need to know what emotional distress is. Emotional distress affects an individual when a third party such another person or a company’s actions cause extreme emotional grief. For certain cases, emotional distress is even used when calculating damages caused toward an involved party. Although most U.S. courts require that there also be some sort of physical injury Civil tort cases often include a discussion of emotional distress as a part of calculating damages, or how much the person responsible for causing the distress should pay the injured person as compensation for the emotional as well as any physical injury.

Most U.S. courts require and prefer a physical injury to occur which may have caused emotional distress. These same courts may throw out a case that does not involve physical harm, and is based solely on emotional burdens. Unless in a loss of consortium case. However, you may find that some U.S. state courts will accept personal injury lawsuits filed on the claim of emotional distress, even if no physical injury occurred, based on the damages.

What could emotional distress damages be? There are a variety of things that can come from emotional distress, like:

  • Sleep loss
  • Anxiety
  • Fear
  • Depression
  • Humiliation

Because emotional distress cases are hard to prove, it is very important that you keep documentation to prove the issues that you faced due to emotional distress. Maybe your stress is so extreme that you had to see a therapist for medical attention. Make sure you keep all documents pertaining to that doctor visit, as proof of the level of stress. Be sure to keep a journal, or diary, or even blog about your emotions, sudden mood changes, or depression. Any documentation or evidence that you have to plead your case is very beneficial.

Emotional distress could easily be the most difficult injury to prove. When there is physical damage such as broken bones or scars, the injuries obtained can be shown as proof. While emotional distress can be extremely overwhelming, it is strictly mental. So, there will be equal difficulty proving to a court that the injured party should be granted damages.  Therefore, you must be sure to include all helpful information like, the duration of the distress, any bodily harm done, journal entries, as well as supporting medical documentation from your doctor.

If you are making a claim for emotional distress, be sure to work with an experienced personal injury attorney Atlanta GA relies on. Proof can be very difficult in claims such as these, and an attorney can help guide you through your case.

Attorney Andrew LynchThanks to our friends and contributors from Andrew R. Lynch, P.C. for their insight into things to know when pursuing a personal injury claim.