When you are injured in an accident, or even if you witness an accident, you are almost certainly suffering from emotional distress. Emotional distress is a type of compensation that you can claim when an accident occurs.
But to receive compensation for emotional distress, you must work with your Las Vegas personal injury attorney to prove your losses. How is emotional distress demonstrated in an accident claim? This is what you need to know.
How can I test emotional distress?
You can test emotional distress with the following steps:
- Evaluate the ways in which the accident has affected you emotionally, including fear, anxiety, crying, lack of sleep, fear, and humiliation. You can use your own testimony, the testimony of family and friends, and a daily record of your symptoms over time to show the emotional impact of the accident.
- Supplement your personal evidence with additional evidence about the severity of the overall accident, including the duration and severity of the physical injuries.
- Include emotional distress as a type of harm when filing your legal claim for compensation. Emotional distress can be part of a claim that includes physical injury and other damages; in other cases, the negligent infliction of emotional distress may be a separate legal claim.
- Present your claim for compensation through the legal system, including creating additional evidence, preparing your legal strategy, and negotiating fair compensation.
What is emotional distress?
Emotional distress is all of the ways you suffer emotionally when a personal injury accident occurs. It is a category of injuries that you can include in your claim for compensation when an accident occurs. Examples of emotional distress include worry, loss of concentration, stress, repetition of events, crying, and insomnia.
What evidence can you use to prove emotional distress?
Evidence to prove emotional distress includes witness testimony, documentation, and other evidence related to the accident. For example, you can provide your own testimony of flashbacks, inability to sleep, anxiety, and any other emotional injuries that you associated with the accident. Your friends and family can testify about the emotional impact of the accident. If you keep a journal of your emotional distress, your journal can be useful evidence of your emotional injuries.
You supplement your testimony with other evidence that shows the seriousness of the underlying accident. The more serious the accident, the greater your emotional trauma. By presenting evidence of your physical injuries and the facts and circumstances of the accident, you can draw a complete picture of the emotional trauma associated with the accident.
Intentional infliction versus neglect of emotional distress
An emotional distress claim may be based on the intentional or negligent infliction of emotional distress. An intentional claim for emotional distress is based on intentional or very reckless conduct in which the person causing the harm is almost certainly causing emotional distress. A claim based on negligently inflicting emotional distress occurs when the responsible party does not necessarily intend to cause harm on purpose, but their actions result in harm in the same way.
Am I eligible to file an emotional distress claim?
There are two ways to qualify to file an emotional distress claim. First, you may be the victim of a personal injury accident. When you suffer physical injuries due to an accident, you almost certainly have some measure of emotional trauma related to the accident. The other way victims qualify to file an emotional distress claim is by witnessing a serious accident. The witness must be a close relative of the injured victim.
“But I almost died!” Can a claim for emotional distress be filed if there are no physical injuries?
An emotional distress claim requires physical injury or some other type of tangible damage. There is no claim of emotional distress for near misses. For example, if another vehicle is very close to hitting you but manages to avoid the collision, there is no legal claim.
Not all injuries are physical; for example, the plaintiff in Shoen v. Amerco, Inc. filed a lawsuit for inflicting emotional distress based on a terminated employment contract. If the damage is physical or if there is other damage, there must be an injury associated with the events for the victim to have an emotional distress claim.
Shoen v. Americo, Inc. – Negligent infliction of emotional distress
The Nevada Supreme Court spoke about negligently inflicting emotional distress in Shoen v. Americo, Inc. The court responded to the question of whether the person injured in an accident can file an emotional distress claim or if emotional distress claims are limited to bystanders. The Shoen case dealt with the sale of the U-Haul company. The original founder of the company, Leonard Shoen, sold the company to a new owner. In return, the original owner received a lifetime employment contract with the new company.
The new company fired Shoen. They said they were justified in firing him because he did not act in the best interest of his employer. Shoen sued for a number of things, including the willful and negligent infliction of emotional distress.
The Nevada Supreme Court ruled that Shoen could file his emotional distress lawsuit even though he was the main person harmed by the termination of employment. The court ruled that emotional distress claims are not limited to bystanders. They said that since bystanders can file claims for emotional distress, it only makes sense that the person directly injured can also claim. The Nevada Supreme Court reversed a preliminary decision favoring the defense and ruled that Shoen could file his emotional distress claims against his former employer.
How can I win an emotional distress claim?
If an accident hurts you emotionally, you may deserve financial compensation. Emotional distress is a category of damages that you can claim. To win a claim for emotional distress, you must include the claim for compensation in your legal filings. You must prepare evidence to show that you have suffered emotional distress. You must prove the severity of your injuries.
Have you been injured in an accident? The attorneys at Adam S. Kutner & Associates can help. Our team can ensure that you obtain compensation for all types of damages that occur, including emotional distress. Contact us today for a free consultation.