How to Prove Emotional Distress
Proving that you suffer emotional distress can be extremely difficult. Unlike broken bones or other injuries, you may have no X-rays or other medical documents to point to.
Instead, emotional distress is largely psychological. And while the suffering can be as great, if not greater, than physical injuries, plaintiffs can have a hard time proving to a court they are entitled to damages given the difficulty of proof.
For those considering a claim for emotional distress, here are some ways you may be able to prove your claim:
- Doctor's Note. A note or further documentation by a doctor or psychologist should be provided to support every claim. While an X-ray may be more definitive proof of an injury, a note from your doctor or psychologist can help prove emotional harm.
- Related Bodily Harm. Certain types of physical injuries are oftentimes related to psychological injuries. For example, injuries like ulcers, headaches, and other physical signs of distress tend to be caused by emotional problems and stress.
- Extreme Cause of Injury. The more extreme the underlying cause of the emotional distress, the more likely a court will find emotional distress. For example, surviving a bombing may be more likely to support a claim than being the victim of an ordinary rear-end car accident.
- Intensity. The more intense the mental anguish, the better chance you have of proving that your emotional distress was severe enough to deserve compensation.
- Duration of Pain. Persistent and recurring pain that remains with you for a long period of time, like post traumatic stress, may better support a claim for emotional distress.
If you are making a claim for emotional distress, you will want to work with an experienced personal injury attorney. Proof can be very difficult in these claims, and an attorney can help guide you through your case.
- Emotional Distress (FindLaw)
- How Much Pain and Suffering is Enough to Sue? (FindLaw's Injured)
- So When Can You Sue for Emotional Distress? (FindLaw's Common Law)
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