Can I Sue for Emotional Distress After My Injury?

After a catastrophic injury, more than the physical body is affected. For some people, the negligence or recklessness that caused their injury can lead to severe emotional distress– and it is possible to sue for these damages.

The symptoms of emotional distress should disappear or become more manageable in the days and weeks following the accident. For some, however, the emotional distress does not improve but actually worsens.

Because of this, an individual may not have the ability to work, care for their family, or participate in normal activities. However, if a person was already prone to depression or other emotional illnesses, it is more difficult to prove that the injury was the cause of their current mental state.

A Pittsburgh personal injury attorney from our team protects your rights and works hard to hold those responsible for your physical and emotional injuries accountable. Our experienced lawyers can help you receive the compensation you deserve.

Emotional distress

Emotional distress may include conditions such as Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). For example, after a car accident, people may find themselves unable to drive again or even ride as a passenger.

Symptoms of emotional distress run the gamut, but may include:

  • Overwhelming grief if the accident resulted in a fatality
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Fear
  • Personality changes

A Pittsburgh catastrophic personal injury lawyer will inform clients about the process for filing for emotional damages. First, anyone seeking to file a lawsuit involving emotional distress damages must consult with a psychiatrist or other mental health professional for a diagnosis.

Inform your healthcare provider about all symptoms and the limitations they create in your life. Friends and family may also testify about the changes in your emotional state since the injury.

Documentation is also key. Keep a daily journal describing your state of mind and make a note of how it is affecting your daily life as well as long-term plans.

Emotional distress damages

Damages for emotional distress fall into two basic types. The first involves pain and suffering, while the second focuses on emotional distress infliction.

While damages are often awarded for pain and suffering, that is not usually the case with the latter. It is frequently hard to prove, as it does not involve physical injuries and results from the victim witnessing something horrific.

Such incidents usually involve witnessing a murder, rape, or similar horrific crime, or the death of a family member.

While infliction of emotional distress is a physical reaction to some form of mental anguish– pain and suffering is a mental reaction to a physical injury. It is far easier to recover damages for pain and suffering.

Unlike compensation for your medical expenses or lost wages– which are economic– emotional distress damages are non-economic. That means there is no straightforward method of determining the amount.

A Pittsburgh catastrophic personal injury lawyer knows the value of a reasonable settlement for your emotional distress damages. We will negotiate with the insurance company, but if a fair settlement is not reached, we can take the case to trial.

Contact us today for a free case evaluation

If you or a loved one suffer from emotional distress after an injury caused by someone else’s negligent behavior, a Pittsburgh personal injury attorney from our team can help. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation by filling out our online contact form or calling or texting us 24/7.

We will review your claim and determine whether you have a valid emotional distress lawsuit. Our dedicated lawyers have recovered over $1 billion for clients in verdicts and settlements.