If you've been injured due to someone else's negligence, your physical wounds may be only part of the problems you face. Your emotional wounds can also have a significant impact on your life.
Anyone who suffers from emotional distress following an accident can tell you that the suffering is very real -- even if it's harder to prove than something like broken bones or bruises.
What exactly is emotional distress?
Emotional distress after a traumatic event, like an accident, can manifest in a number of different ways. Some of the most common include:
- Panic attacks
- Intrusive thoughts
- Obsessive fears
- Concentration problems
In severe cases, emotional distress can morph into a full-blown psychological disorder known as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD.)
What makes a valid claim for emotional distress?
In order to add emotional distress to your injury claim, you need to show that your condition isn't merely a temporary problem. You'll also need to convince the court that your distress is significant, not the mild sort of distress that can come from an ordinary upset. Your emotional distress also has to be tied to your physical injury.
Some evidence that might be used to support a claim for emotional distress include:
- Evidence from the hospital or doctor you saw after the accident
- Records from a psychologist or other mental health provider regarding your treatment for your distress
- Testimony from people who have observed the effects of the distress on your life
- Records from your employer showing how your emotional state has affected your ability to work
If you think that emotional distress will be a significant part of your personal injury claim, talk to an attorney about what you need to know and what evidence you need to gather to support your position.