May is Mental Health Awareness Month. The month-long observance aims to educate about the importance of mental health, promote mental wellness, reduce stigma, and encourage people to take care of their mental health and seek help when needed. Certain events or incidents may have mental health implications, and legal avenues exist to take action in response to emotional or mental distress caused by another.
Emotional distress is a term used to describe a range of mental and emotional symptoms that a person may experience due to a traumatic event or series of events. These symptoms may include anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other emotional and psychological disorders. In some cases, the emotional distress may be severe enough to interfere with a person's ability to function in their daily life.
If you have experienced emotional distress after an accident or event due to someone else's actions, you may be able to receive additional compensation for your personal injury claim. In this blog post, we will explore the basics of suing for emotional distress, including what constitutes emotional distress, the types of damages you may recover, and the legal process for pursuing a lawsuit.
What Constitutes Emotional Distress?
Emotional distress can take many forms, and there is no one-size-fits-all definition of what constitutes emotional distress. Emotional distress refers to a state of mental or emotional suffering caused by another person's actions or negligence.
Some common examples of situations that may lead to emotional distress include:
- Being the victim of a violent crime;
- Witnessing a traumatic event, such as a car accident or a natural disaster;
- Experiencing the sudden loss of a loved one;
- Suffering from a serious illness or injury;
- In some cases, emotional distress may result from ongoing harassment, abuse, or neglect.
Types of Damages for Emotional Distress
If you file a lawsuit for emotional distress, you may be able to recover a variety of damages, including:
- Medical expenses: If you have received treatment for your emotional distress, you may be able to recover the cost of your medical bills.
- Lost wages: If your emotional distress has caused you to miss work, you may be able to recover the wages you earned during that time.
- Pain and suffering: This refers to the physical and emotional pain you have experienced due to your emotional distress.
- Loss of consortium: This refers to the loss of companionship, love, and affection that you have experienced due to your emotional distress.
- Punitive damages: Sometimes, a court may award punitive damages to punish the person or entity that caused your emotional distress.
Legal Process for Pursuing a Lawsuit
If you decide to pursue a lawsuit for emotional distress, the first step is to consult with an experienced attorney specializing in this law area. Your attorney will be able to evaluate your case and help you determine whether you have a valid claim.
Once you and your legal team have decided to move forward with a lawsuit, your attorney will file a complaint in court, outlining the specific allegations against the person or entity that caused your emotional distress. The defendant will have an opportunity to respond to the complaint. The case will then move into the discovery phase, during which both sides will gather evidence and information related to the case.
After the discovery phase, the case will move to trial, during which both sides will present their arguments and evidence to a judge or jury. The judge or jury will then decide whether the defendant is liable for your emotional distress and, if so, how much compensation you should receive.
Suing for emotional distress can be a complex and challenging process, but seeking justice and compensation for the harm that has been done to you may be necessary. If you are considering filing a lawsuit for emotional distress, work with an experienced attorney who can guide you through the process and help you achieve your goal.
A Meyers & Flowers medical malpractice attorney will assess the merits of your case and choose the best way to resolve your case quickly and secure the compensation you deserve. If you or a loved one has experienced emotional distress or damage due to another’s actions, call Meyers & Flowers at 630-232-6333 for your free, no-obligation case assessment.