Some of the injuries suffered in an accident are not easily identified, or even visible. Many times there is an emotional damage that is done, similar to post-traumatic stress disorder, and when that happens the victim should seek compensation for emotional distress. The legal problem that arises when a claim for emotional distress is made is complex, because not only does the fact an emotional injury have been suffered have to be determined, but an amount has to be placed on that injury. This is difficult given no two people are alike, so their emotional reaction to a situation is hard to pinpoint. Emotions are also a personal matter, and articulating how an event has traumatized you emotionally is not an easy task. But with the right legal guidance, you can put together the evidence that shows your claim is real, and that you deserve compensation for the emotional trauma associated with being in an accident.
In personal injury cases, a claim for emotional distress should include:
- Therapist or counselor notes regarding the emotional trauma.
- Information connecting the accident to the emotional distress felt.
- Personal information about the victim, making it plausible that the emotional trauma was foreseeable for the type of accident in question.
- A prognosis for the future, and how the incident is likely to continue to cause distress.
The results regarding when, and in what amount, an emotional distress claim is successful vary. The key is to develop the facts of your case in a way that is clear and easy to understand. When you are able to show to the Judge or jury how your life has changed as a result of the negligence of another, you become more credible. Part of the problem with emotional distress claims is that many juries feel the claims are made up, or exaggerated. To avoid the jury dismissing your claims as just another attempt to recover more than the case is worth, credible evidence must be presented. This includes your testimony as well as the testimony of reputable medical professionals. Developing a claim that includes seeking damages for emotional distress requires the use of a qualified personal injury attorney.
If you have been in an accident and have questions about how to recover for emotional distress, call our office to find out what to do next and what to expect. Let an experienced attorney help you figure what is best for you. Call a Bloomington, Minnesota personal injury attorney today.