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Emotional Distress Quiz

Personal injury may involve more than just physical harm. An emotional distress claim is one possible claim arising from a personal injury situation. Often, the plaintiff must show some physical manifestation of emotional distress. For example, recovering from emotional trauma and emotional distress damages in an accident case might require a showing of physical injury.

In other personal injury cases, a plaintiff may have a viable emotional distress claim if they show that they were subjected to extreme or outrageous conduct. This can include a defendant's negligent infliction of emotional distress, where they act carelessly and result in a person's emotional suffering.

Take this short quiz to learn more about emotional harm in personal injury claims.

Quiz: Emotional Distress

1. “Emotional distress" is the same as: ____

  • a. pain and suffering
  • b. loss of consortium
  • c. mental anguish
  • d. inordinate worry

2. Which of the following items is not considered emotional distress? ____

  • a. fright
  • b. headaches
  • c. dismay
  • d. humiliation

3. To prove emotional distress, the plaintiff must show: ____

  • a. the distress is more than fleeting
  • b. the defendant's conduct caused the distress
  • c. the distress is medically significant
  • d. all of the above

4. Non-economic damages for emotional distress can be awarded for: ____

  • a. seeing your child being hit by a car in a traumatic event
  • b. mistreatment of a corpse after a wrongful death
  • c. the plaintiff's fear of contracting a terrible disease from medical malpractice
  • d. all of the above

5. To protect against frivolous and fraudulent claims, some states require the plaintiff to: ____

  • a. produce psychiatric records regarding mental health
  • b. present disinterested testimony from an objective witness or bystander
  • c. prove they were physically injured
  • d. plead the Fifth Amendment

6. Emotional distress lawsuits may be pursued as separate and independent claims when: ____

  • a. the judge says it's OK
  • b. the defendant acted intentionally and outrageously
  • c. the plaintiff was physically injured (such as in a car accident)
  • d. none of the above

7. Intentional infliction of emotional distress (IIED) occurs when the defendant's conduct: ____

  • a. exceeded all boundaries of conduct tolerated by decent society
  • b. was especially calculated to cause, and did cause mental distress
  • c. caused distress of substantial or enduring quality that no reasonable person should be expected to endure
  • d. all of the above

8. A finding of liability for intentional infliction of emotional distress is legally supported by the fact that: ____

  • a. the plaintiff was treated for mental illness
  • b. the defendant knew of the plaintiff's peculiar susceptibility to emotional distress
  • c. the judge shook his head during the plaintiff's testimony regarding post-traumatic stress disorder
  • d. (b) and (c)

9. When a parent claims they suffered emotional distress when their child was injured, the parent must have been: ____

  • a. an eyewitness to the accident
  • b. a custodial parent
  • c. at the hospital when the child arrived in an ambulance
  • d. (a) or (c)

10. A person has a claim for emotional distress when they witness an accident involving: ____

  • a. a good friend
  • b. another pedestrian
  • c. a close relative
  • d. (a) and (c)

11. A judge can refuse to send a claim for emotional distress to the jury if: ____

  • a. the judge doesn't think that the defendant's conduct was sufficiently outrageous
  • b. the accident victim never sought counseling
  • c. the plaintiff doesn't look like they are up to it
  • d. all of the above

12. Finish this quote from the treatise, "Prosser on Torts," “It is not difficult to discover in the earlier opinions a distinctly masculine astonishment that any woman would ever be so silly as to allow herself to be: ____

  • a. “overwhelmed by sadness after a broken promise to marry"
  • b. “frightened or shocked into a miscarriage"
  • c. “frightened by someone tapping on the window at night"
  • d. “convinced by her doctor that she was crazy"

13. Since the old cases are so much fun, try this one: According to a judge in an article he wrote for the "Harvard Law Review" in 1936, why is it not an infliction of emotional distress to proposition a woman for illicit sex? ____

  • a. there's no insult
  • b. women take pleasure in refusing
  • c. the woman's dignity is not compromised
  • d. there's no harm in asking

14. Which of the following is not an intentional infliction of emotional distress? ____

  • a. spectacular rudeness
  • b. having hot coffee spilled on your lap
  • c. having someone “flip the bird" at you
  • d. all of the above

15. The “zone of danger" refers to: ____

  • a. an imaginary boundary around the plaintiff during the accident
  • b. being in the presence of the accident injuring a family member
  • c. a 300-foot radius from a family member's accident
  • d. within the arm-span of the defendant


1. c

2. b

3. d

4. d

5. c

6. b

7. d

8. b — Option (c) is more of a judgment mistake than “legal support."

9. a

10. c

11. a

12. b

13. d

14. d — These items are just an unfortunate part of being out in public.

15. b

Have an Attorney Review Your Emotional Distress Claim

Different types of emotional distress can be difficult to understand legally, and assigning a dollar value to this distress can be even trickier. But severe emotional distress is a legitimate injury with serious consequences at every step. If you plan to file a claim for emotional distress, you may want to consider speaking with a personal injury attorney in your area today.

Personal injury law is complicated. And personal injury laws vary depending on the claim you assert in your personal injury lawsuit. A personal injury lawyer can help you and your loved ones get a case evaluation for fair compensation. No matter which state jurisdiction you live in, a law office can fight with insurance companies to pay your medical bills and get you medical treatment for your mental suffering and loss of quality of life.

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