Lists & Guides

How Do You Prove Emotional Distress?

Emotional distress can negatively impact all facets of your life, including relationships, career, and financial future. Although emotional distress can cause tremendous suffering, proving it in a court of law can be daunting. Unlike breaking an arm or leg, there are no x-rays or scars to display the effects of suffering trauma since the damage is purely psychological. 

Different individuals react differently to distress. Some vehicle accident survivors may experience panic and anxiety upon boarding an automobile again. Others may experience physical effects like:

If you have suffered any trauma, you may also become susceptible to lethargy, depression, substance abuse, and guilt. All of this can turn your life upside-down, but how do you prove it?

Building a Legal Layout For Your Emotional Distress

Regardless of the symptom of emotional distress, it can negatively affect the life of the victim, causing economic losses and other issues that go far beyond the emotional. You can seek compensation for pain, suffering, or other damages by hiring a personal injury attorney who will emphasize your claim for a non-financial damage settlement.

When proving emotional distress, lawyers have to build a strong legal argument. They could claim:

Deliberate infliction of emotional distress

Lawyers argue that the person at-fault acted recklessly or purposefully. They assert that the defendant’s conduct was barbaric, outrageous, and shocking, and it can’t be accommodated in a civilized society.

Negligent cause of emotional distress

Lawyers claim that the at-fault individual was negligent or willfully violated a statutory duty.

Passerby emotional distress

In some instances, lawyers claim that the child/spouse residing within the premises who witnessed the accident suffered adverse emotional turmoil, even in the absence of physical injuries. This argument is easily made in fatal vehicle crashes since death within the family can act as a recipe for distress, especially for other car passengers.

Proving a Claim Of Emotional Distress

A professional diagnosis like PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) due to an accident is challenging to refute. A personal injury notary will utilize various elements of the case to prove emotional distress damages. These elements include:

• Intensity: If you are suffering from chronic mental suffering and pain due to a crash, there’s a high chance the personal injury lawyer will include mental distress in the claim. In some scenarios, such as the negligent cause of emotional distress, the court might also require proof of physical injury.

• Duration: Proving your emotional distress as damage requires a demonstration of cause and effect. You need to record adjustments to your daily routines: show letters from family, friends, or your boss, and provide evidence of medical treatment.

• Primary cause: The courts evaluate an accident or assault’s severity when weighing a claim’s validity for emotional distress. Thus, a more triggering or dramatic event will prompt courts to offer a settlement.

• Associated bodily injury: You can provide proof of associated bodily harm such as headaches, ulcers, and other physical symptoms of distress.

• Expert’s note: A psychologist or doctor’s note will bolster your claim.

Professional Witness Testimony

Notes and evaluations from doctors or psychologists are among the crucial evidence for emotional distress. If you have suffered any trauma, an expert diagnosis will show that the incident affected you severely, leading to long-haul emotional harm. 

Bringing a professional witness to testify about your mental condition can boost your claim for emotional distress. Your doctor can use various symptoms when diagnosing emotional distress such as memory issues, sleeping problems, depression, chronic fatigue, weight problems, and so on.

The specialist can jot down a note or testify before a jury regarding your symptoms of emotional anguish. You or your lawyer can then prove that the event was the primary cause of your distress. Events could include personal injury or traumatic events such as the demise of a loved one.

 “This article is a collaboration with a freelance writer and follows The Haitian Times publishing guidelines” 

Haitian Times

Haitian Times

The Haitian Times was founded in 1999 as a weekly English language newspaper based in Brooklyn, NY.The newspaper is widely regarded as the most authoritative voice for Haitian Diaspora.
Haitian Times
Nov. 18, 2020

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