What Is Emotional Distress in a Personal Injury Claim?

September 1, 2022
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A lot of people don't think about the fact that serious accidents can really damage your emotional health. If you've been in a bad accident, you might have trouble sleeping or start having nightmares and flashbacks about what happened. You might also start feeling more anxious, depressed, or even get PTSD.

A serious accident can have a similarly devastating emotional toll. Many individuals, however, are unaware that they may claim compensation for their emotional stress. You can seek compensation for pain and suffering, which includes both physical discomfort and mental anguish, as part of a personal injury claim.

After a serious auto accident, we can help you seek full compensation for your injuries and expenses by applying the law in your favor. We understand the difficulties that emotional strain may cause. We want to assist you in moving on with your life. For more information, please contact us now for a free initial consultation. Rue & Ziffra is a Florida personal injury firm with over 40 years of combined expertise assisting Florida accident victims in obtaining complete compensation for their injuries and losses after significant accidents. We understand how emotional distress might affect you. We want to help you get back on track with your life. For additional information, call us today for a free consultation.)

What Is Emotional Distress, and How Do I Recognize It?

A traumatic injury can result in emotional suffering, which might be caused by carelessness or deliberate intent depending on the details of a personal injury lawsuit.

If you were injured due to a driver's negligence, any emotional pain you experience would be from the crash and your injuries. However, if someone physically assaulted you and caused intentional harm, emotional distress is also considered intentional. Most individuals who suffer serious injuries experience some degree of emotional trauma. The pain might be overwhelming and have a negative influence on your capacity to function in many ways.

In a personal injury lawsuit, you can sue for emotional stress. The value of the claim is determined by the extent to which emotional distress has harmed your life and the specifics of the accident.

The Most Common Forms of Emotional Distress

Many accident victims experience emotional distress, which can include any of the following symptoms:

  • Poor quality of life – After an accident, the injuries you obtain can sometimes lead to long-term disabilities. If this is true for you, it's very possible that you won't be able to do a lot of things that gave you joy before. Even easy tasks like errands and household chores may become difficult for you. All of these factors significantly change how happy and content with life you are.
  • Being unable to do the things you love – If you can't do the things you love anymore, it's natural to feel depressed and even lose a sense of who you are. After all, your hobbies make up a big part of your identity. If an accident has left intimacy out of the picture for you and your spouse, that's something worth compensating for in court.
  • After a brain injury, there may be noticeable changes in cognitive function. – A brain injury caused by a traumatic event can have different consequences for the victim. For example, it could change their personality or movement abilities. It's also common to feel more angry or aggressive after suffering from trauma. All of these effects lower the victim's quality of life significantly.
  • Being humiliated and embarrassed – If you're in a public place and suffer a severe accident, it can be mortifying if people notice your agony. Many individuals dislike lengthy hospital stays. Accident victims may be concerned that they appear weak or helpless.
  • Mental trauma – An accident, big or small, can unintentionally leave someone with a fear of being involved in another situation like the original one. For example, if you were hurt badly from a car crash, the idea of driving again might instill immense terror in you despite your physical injuries having healed. Mental trauma unfortunately has the potential to bother victims long-term.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder – People who have experienced physical trauma are especially susceptible to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Symptoms of PTSD often include anxiety, nightmares or flashbacks about the initial trauma, racing or unwanted thoughts, changes in personality, and increased anger.
  • Sleep deprivation – Having nightmares after a traumatic experience is not uncommon and can make it difficult to get a good night's sleep.

How to Demonstrate Emotional Distress in a Personal Injury Case

When you're attempting to obtain compensation for emotional suffering through a personal injury claim, proving emotional distress might be tough. You'll need to offer proof of symptoms of emotional distress, such as a depression diagnosis, anxiety, sleeplessness, and loss of companionship. Our attorneys will strive to show how the symptoms have affected your life in order to demonstrate that your claims are valid.

Here are a few options for demonstrating that you have been emotionally harmed as a result of an accident:

  • Medical documents – Your medical records can help your claim for emotional suffering by proving the physical damage you've sustained that may have caused it. If you have a psychological diagnosis derived from your accident and received mental health treatment or therapy, those papers can be utilized to support your emotional distress claim.
  • Start a journal – Maintaining a daily journal of your injuries and how they prevent you from enjoying life can help to illustrate the emotional turmoil you experience and its impact on your quality of life.
  • Expert opinion – A psychologist or another mental health professional can testify about your emotional distress.
  • Statements from the people who know you best – People who know you well can offer insight into how your injuries have affected your life, particularly in terms of your mental state before and after the accident.

Is It Possible to Receive Compensation for Your Emotional Distress Claim?

If you wish to be compensated for the emotional turmoil caused by your injury, you can do so as part of a Florida personal injury case. However, state laws make it quite difficult to provide evidence that proves your claim. To increase the chance of success, ensure that you have enough strong evidence to support the gravity of your losses.

If you've been hurt in an accident, you'll need the help of a seasoned personal injury lawyer who can gather evidence to build a strong case for compensation for all of your injuries, including emotional distress.

We're Here to Help You With Your Personal Injury Case

If you're looking for an attorney in Florida to help you with your personal injury case, look no further than Rue & Ziffra. With years of experience under our belt, we will work tirelessly to make sure you are compensated for your emotional distress and other losses suffered from the accident. Contact us today to learn more about what we can do for you.

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