Emotional distress is mental suffering caused by enduring an extreme event. Mental suffering includes any sort of negative thoughts and emotion, from suicidal thoughts to mild anxiety. It can be difficult, however, for a victim to be able to prove that the emotional distress is sufficient for damages to be awarded. There are certain factors a jury will focus on, and they are key to proving emotional distress.
How to Prove Emotional Distress
- Intensity –If you have feelings of intense mental anguish, you are more likely to be awarded than if you only experienced a small amount.
- Duration – Damages for pain and suffering are awarded based on past, present, and future distress. Just because you were physically uninjured in, say, a crash does not mean that you were completely unharmed. Emotional suffering such as PTSD can last for years after a crash, and the persistence of it can be used to help prove emotional distress.
- Related Bodily Harm – In some cases, courts require physical evidence as proof of emotional distress. Any pertinent injuries, from bumps and bruises to back pain and headaches, can be used as proof to strengthen your case.
- Underlying Cause – The actual cause of the emotional distress is usually the most cut and dry aspect of these cases, so this can factor in heavily on juror’s decision. The more extreme the cause is, the more leeway jurors will likely give you in the intensity of the distress.
- Doctor’s Note – A doctor’s note providing supporting evaluations is usually required in every claim of emotional distress.
Galloway Jefcoat, LLP is a Louisiana personal injury law firm that fights for victims of personal injury.