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Can I Recover Damages for Emotional Distress in a Personal Injury Claim?

 Posted on January 17, 2023 in Personal Injury

Raleigh personal injury lawyerMost people know that if they have been injured in a car crash, slip-and-fall accident, or any other incident caused by someone else’s negligence, the injured person generally has the right to seek compensation for their losses from the at-fault party. In such cases, most people think primarily about their physical injuries. However, some of the most lasting, debilitating injuries are of a psychological or emotional nature.

Mental trauma – known as emotional distress in the legal world – has serious implications that may prolong a victim’s path back to normal. It may be difficult to work, maintain relationships, and process emotions normally. The toll on the victim and their family can be enormous. The good news is that, in certain circumstances, damages for emotional distress can be recovered through a personal injury claim.

What Is Emotional Distress?

The definitions of emotional distress vary, as each victim experiences the condition differently. Most medical professionals understand the condition as a psychological response to trauma.

Symptoms of emotional distress include:

  • Cognitive struggles - Those suffering from emotional distress is afflicted might experience frequent flashbacks of the traumatic events, intrusive thoughts, and nightmares. This could affect their ability to concentrate and perform certain tasks.
  • Behavioral issues - Certain places, images, and sounds can trigger flashbacks. Those affected may feel the need to organize their lives in a way to avoid these triggers.
  • Stress and anxiety - Trauma can make it difficult to process and manage emotions. A person may struggle with panic attacks, along with bouts of fear, depression, and anxiety.
  • Physical ailments - Trauma can make healthy lifestyle practices impossible – difficulty sleeping, irregular eating habits, aches and pains, and heart palpitations are commonplace.

Claiming Damages for Emotional Distress

If you experience emotional distress because of a car accident or another incident caused by another party’s negligence, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible party and recover compensation. However, it should be noted that it is more difficult to collect damages for emotional distress than physical injuries. Psychological injuries are often much more difficult to prove.

Expert witness testimony from a therapist, psychologist, or other medical professional may be necessary to recover damages for emotional distress. If the plaintiff is successful, they could be granted compensation for the losses incurred because of the trauma, including medical care, lost wages, and a decreased quality of life.  

Contact a Wake County Personal Injury Lawyer

If you were involved in a serious accident and developed emotional distress as a result, you may have a legal claim. An experienced personal injury lawyer can evaluate your case, determine if you have a claim, and craft a personalized legal strategy around your interests.

The lawyers at the Vasquez Law Firm, PLLC have spent their careers fighting on behalf of accident victims. They understand the circumstances facing their clients, providing vigorous representation throughout the process. Call a Raleigh personal injury lawyer today at 1-844-YO-PELEO to schedule a free initial consultation.





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