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Your Guide to a Successful Emotional Distress Claim


Damages aren’t always visible from the exterior. Some accidents can leave you with bruises or broken bones. Other times, you can walk away from an accident with serious trauma or even irreversible psychological harm. If you or a loved one is experiencing severe emotional damage due to another person’s negligence, you may have the option to sue for emotional distress. Though no material entity is likely to heal your emotional pain completely, you may be able to receive fiscal compensation at the very least.

What Is Emotional Distress?

Emotional distress is a negative psychological reaction that occurs as a response to a specific experience. Symptoms of emotional distress include anxiety, depression, guilt, and physical illness. Emotional distress occurs internally, but its effects can be seen on the outside as well. A person suffering from emotional distress may experience weight fluctuations, lose motivation in daily tasks, develop severe mood swings, and more.

Types of Emotional Distress Claims

When suing for emotional distress, there are two types of claims that can be filed: negligent infliction of emotional distress and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

  • Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress: When a person is emotionally harmed due to another person’s action. even if that action was not intentionally meant to cause harm to them.
  • Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress: When a person intentionally inflicts emotional harm onto another person. In Florida, a claim must fit into these four characteristics in order for it to be considered intentional infliction of emotional distress-
    • Deliberate or reckless emotional harm
    • Outrageous conduct that surpasses normal human decency
    • Conduct that causes emotional distress
    • The distress is considered severe relative to other emotional pain

How to Sue for Emotional Distress

In order to sue for emotional distress, you will need documents that provide evidence of the psychological harm you have experienced. These documents can include medical bills and records, diary or journal entries, work records, or even sleep pattern tracking. Using the evidence you have, you will need to speak with an attorney to explain your situation. From there, your lawyer should be able to advise you on what legal steps to take next. WIth your lawyer, you will be able to file a lawsuit for emotional distress. Depending on your circumstances, your case will either reach a settlement early on or proceed to trial for a final decision.

Florida’s Impact Rule

In order to claim negligent infliction of emotional distress, the Impact Rule states that there must be proof that the emotional harm from an incident was derived from a physical impact first. In essence, the rule makes it pretty much impossible to claim negligent infliction of emotional distress if the damage inflicted is purely emotional. However, in very limited cases, a physical manifestation of emotional distress can be considered enough by the court to allow a claim of negligent infliction.

Searching for a Lawyer to Handle Your Emotional Distress Claim?

If you have experienced severe emotional distress because of someone else’s negligence, Payer Law can help you get the compensation you deserve. To get in contact with one of our skilled Orlando personal injury lawyers today, please give us a call at 866-930-1238 and schedule a free consultation today.

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