Proving emotional distress is very difficult. Unlike flesh wounds and broken bones, there is no diagnostic blood test or x-ray that can measure the emotional distress you have suffered.
Rather, emotional distress is predominantly a psychological injury. Though there is no question that the suffering inflicted by emotional distress can be severe, you may have a difficult time demonstrating to a jury that you are entitled to financial compensation for your psychological struggles brought on by emotional distress.
Though you should always consult with an experienced personal injury attorney, like those at the Law Office of Jeremy Rosenthal, if you are considering pursuing a claim for emotional distress – here are five things that may help prove your claim:
- Intensity. The greater the intensity of your emotional distress, the better your chances will be of recovering damages. However, particularly in cases of negligent (as opposed to intentional) infliction of emotional distress, the judge will likely require you to prove that you have a physical injury associated with your emotional distress.
- Related Bodily Harm. While pinpointing specific evidence of emotional distress can be arduous and difficult, you may be able to demonstrate your distress through physical symptoms such as headaches, ulcers, gastrointestinal issues, sleeplessness and hand tremors.
- Symptom Duration. Persistent and/or recurring pain or physical symptoms that you can show have stayed with you for a long time, like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), can help bolster your case for emotional distress and show the jury that you should be compensated for your injury.
- Underlying Cause. The more outrageous or extreme the underlying cause(s) of your emotional distress, the more likely you are to recover damages. For example, surviving a bombing is far more likely to support a claim for emotional distress than being the victim of an ordinary auto accident where you sustained little to no physical injury.
- Doctor's Opinion. Though it may seem simple, obtaining a doctor's or physician's note, particularly a psychologist, can go a long way in proving emotional distress. You should always provide a doctor's note in your claim(s) for emotional distress.
If you want to be successful in your lawsuit for emotional distress, you will probably need to incorporate or use a combination of two or more of the above methods. For example, you may want to demonstrate both the duration and intensity of your distress, as well as point to physical symptoms verified by a doctor's note to make your case.
Given the difficulty of proving emotional distress, you should hire a personal injury attorney who is qualified in these cases and who will fight for your rights. The personal injury attorneys at the Law Office of Jeremy Rosenthal have decades of experience in all personal injury cases, including claims for emotional distress. Call us today for a free consultation at (303) 825 – 2223, or visit usonline.