In a medical malpractice or personal injury suit, it is easiest to get compensation for damages that are easy to calculate. These include medical bills and lost wages. Getting compensation for emotional distress is much more difficult, because it is harder to quantify and harder to prove. Judges and juries are more reluctant to award large amounts of money for emotional distress because it is so subjective.
That being said, emotional distress is becoming an increasingly accepted form of damage, and courts across the country are awarding compensation if the emotional distress is argued and proved sufficiently. If you recently suffered extreme emotional distress, do not automatically give up on pursuing a lawsuit. It may be possible to get the compensation you deserve, and Bighorn Law can help you do that.
There are a few different factors that will increase your chances of getting compensation for emotional distress.
Emotional Distress Caused by a Physical Injury
This is very important. If you did not also suffer a physical injury, a court may not even hear your case. Many courts do not want to hear a case that’s based solely on emotional distress although it is slowly becoming more common. If you did suffer a serious injury and can show how that injury caused your emotional distress, you might actually have a very strong case.
Physical and Recordable Results of Your Emotional Distress
Regardless of how much you may tell a jury about your distress, they may not believe it was as serious as you claim. You can strengthen your case if you suffered physically or otherwise from that distress and can prove it. A letter or testimony from a doctor or psychiatrist can go a long way to helping you establish your level of distress. According to FindLaw.com, some examples of physical signs or diagnoses include:
• Headaches and Migraines
• Psychoses and Neuroses
• Other Physical Signs of Distress
Extreme Underlying Cause
If your emotional distress was caused by an extremely traumatic event, it may increase your chances of winning compensation. The situation would have to be so extreme that an average person would be expected to suffer similar distress in the same situation. Some examples of an extreme underlying cause include:
• Grotesque or Permanently Scarring Injuries
• Death of a Loved One
• Legitimate Fear for Your Life
Keep Good Records
The truth is that it is very difficult to prove emotional distress, and it’s even more difficult to be compensated for it. When you are injured in this way, do your best to keep records of what is happening and what you are feeling. Frequent visits to a therapist, lack of sleep, poor performance at work—all of these types of details will help strengthen your narrative and make your case more believable.
Despite its difficulty, our staff at Bighorn Law is interested in helping you get the justice that you deserve. We know how traumatic personal injuries and medical malpractice can be, and we want you to get proper compensation. Contact us today and we can help you start the process to filing your lawsuit.