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How Can I Prove Emotional Distress?

on  Personal Injury

Proving emotional distress in court can be really hard. Unlike physical injuries, emotional distress is something you can’t see or touch. But it’s a real thing that can hurt your mental health, happiness, and your entire life. 

If someone else’s actions caused you emotional distress, you might be able to get money under personal injury law. But it’s not easy – you must prove to the court that your emotional distress is real and has significantly impacted your life, and may continue to affect your future.

To prove emotional distress in court, you must do whatever you can to show the court that you’re really hurt. But this can be tough because everyone feels emotions differently. How do you show that you suffered emotional distress? First, you contact a personal injury attorney. Your attorney will know what evidence to gather to prove your claim. With a lawyer on your side, insurance companies will take your case more seriously too. This can result in getting the compensation you deserve for all your damages – including emotional distress. 

What is Emotional Distress?

Emotional distress is a different type of pain and suffering that people may experience following an accident. Unlike physical injuries that are immediately apparent, emotional distress can be more subtle and harder to identify. It is a severe emotional reaction that occurs after going through a traumatic experience. 

When people experience intense stress, their bodies react in various ways to protect themselves from further harm. Past experiences can influence these reactions, leading to long-term psychological ramifications. 

For example, someone who goes through a life-threatening trucking accident where other passengers died may experience extreme trauma, anxiety, PTSD, and depression.  

Emotional distress can impact a person’s daily life, relationships, work or school performance, and overall well-being. In some cases, emotional distress can be just as debilitating as physical injuries, and it is important to recognize the severity of its impact on a person’s life. 

What Are Examples of Emotional Distress?

Emotional distress can manifest in various ways, and it can impact people in different areas of their lives. Here are some examples of emotional distress:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Panic attacks
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Eating disorders
  • Substance abuse
  • Insomnia
  • Mood swings
  • Anger or irritability
  • Social isolation
  • Self-harm
  • Suicidal thoughts

These examples can affect a person’s daily life, relationships, work or school performance, and overall well-being.

5 Ways to Prove Emotional Distress

Emotional distress can be a challenging injury to prove in a court of law. Unlike physical injuries such as broken bones or scars, emotional distress is largely psychological, making it difficult to demonstrate to a court that you are entitled to damages. However, emotional distress can be as debilitating, if not more so, than physical injuries, and plaintiffs may have the right to compensation for their suffering. Here are five ways to prove emotional distress in court.

#1: Intensity

The intensity of your emotional distress can help your attorney prove that you suffered damages. The more intense the suffering, the better the chances of obtaining compensation for emotional distress. Severe panic attacks, night terrors, and agoraphobia are examples of intense emotional damage suffered after an accident. 

#2: Duration

Ongoing and recurring pain lasting for an extended period can also help prove severe emotional distress. For example, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be a lasting mental health condition that severely impacts a person’s quality of life. Demonstrating the duration of emotional distress can be an essential element in establishing the severity of the claim.

While emotional distress may not leave visible scars, related bodily injuries may help to substantiate the claim. Evidence of physical symptoms such as headaches, ulcers, and insomnia can help show the emotional distress you suffered. This physical evidence can be critical in proving that the psychological injury has caused tangible harm.

#4: Underlying Cause

What caused your accident and injuries also matters when proving emotional distress. For instance, surviving an attempted murder can be more likely to support a claim than being the victim of an ordinary rear-end car accident that resulted in no physical injuries. The more extreme the underlying cause, the more likely a court may find that the emotional distress is valid.

#5: Doctor’s Note

Finally, obtaining a note from a doctor or psychologist can help support your claim of emotional distress. A medical professional can testify and provide documentation of psychological pain and any related physical injuries. 

Proving emotional distress in court can be challenging, but it is possible. Incorporating several of these methods can increase the chances of demonstrating the severity of the emotional distress. An experienced personal injury attorney can help guide plaintiffs through the process and help them navigate the complexities of emotional distress claims.

Proving Emotional Distress Is Difficult

Proving emotional distress after a car accident can be challenging. That’s because it is difficult to really prove how the intangible suffering an accident victim has endured. It is for precisely this reason that insurance companies are skeptical of these claims.

Insurance companies are often skeptical of emotional distress claims because they cannot be easily quantified, and the symptoms can be subjective and difficult to verify. Additionally, some people may exaggerate or falsify their emotional distress symptoms in an attempt to receive more compensation.

Here are some examples of how difficult it can be to prove emotional distress after a car accident:

  • Lack of Physical Injuries: If you did not suffer physical injuries in the accident, it can be more challenging to prove emotional distress. Insurance companies may argue you are lying or exaggerating your feelings to collect more compensation. 
  • Delayed Symptoms: Sometimes, emotional distress symptoms may not appear until days or weeks after the accident. This can make it difficult to prove that the accident caused your emotional distress and not some other factor (such as loss of a job or the death of a beloved pet).
  • Pre-existing Conditions: If you had pre-existing psychological conditions, such as depression or anxiety, before the crash, insurance companies may argue that your emotional distress is not related to the accident.
  • Inconsistent Statements: If you give inconsistent statements about their emotional distress symptoms or the accident, insurance companies may question the validity of their claim.

In order to prove emotional distress after an accident, you will need an attorney on your side to gather the evidence needed to prove emotional distress. This may include medical records, witness statements, and testimony from mental health professionals. To help your case, keep a journal and document your feelings and emotional distress symptoms.  

Contact Our Personal Injury Lawyers Today

If you or someone you love suffered an injury in an accident, you may need more compensation than you realize. In addition to the physical pain you suffered and the medical bills you accrued, you deserve compensation for the emotional distress you experienced. Unfortunately, collecting compensation for emotional distress isn’t easy without a personal injury lawyer on your side. 

At Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys, PA, our lawyers can gather the evidence needed to prove emotional distress. We know how to fight these cases and negotiate with insurers to get you the compensation you deserve after a serious accident. 

To schedule a free legal consultation to discuss your potential injury case, contact Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA at (305) 694-2676. You may also use our online submission form to contact the firm.