When you’re injured in an accident, compensation for physical injuries comes to mind. However, compensation for emotional distress may also be due depending on your situation.
Unlike physical pain to your organs, muscles or bones, emotional distress targets the well-being of your mind and can certainly prove to be a large obstacle in the recovery process for accident victims. Unlike physical injury, emotional distress is subjective and will not present itself the same every time for every person.
Below, we’ll discuss the nature of emotional distress symptoms and when compensation for these personal injuries may be due.
Types of Emotional Distress
Sometimes emotional distress is known as “mental anguish,” and it can encompass a wide variety of symptoms and conditions. These can include:
- Suicidal thoughts
Under the emotional distress umbrella, there are numerous symptoms and conditions. Whether or not you can bring forward a claim for compensation will depend upon individual case factors.
When to Sue for Emotional Distress
Overall, there are two primary factors that determine whether or not you can receive compensation for your emotional distress: state laws and the severity of your injuries.
Some states require that in order for emotional distress damages to be paid the emotional distress must be proven to stem from a physical injury. This is called the “impact rule,” and Florida adheres to this law.
Secondly, the degree of your emotional distress must be strong enough to warrant compensation.
Proving Emotional Distress
Since emotional distress is not visible from the outside of the body, proving it is more difficult. Having a doctor, psychologist or other expert witness testify to your distress and offer insight into the intensity of the distress, the duration, and how serious the accompanying physical injury was can help make your emotional distress claim a success.
Exceptions to Florida’s “Impact Rule”
There are a few exceptions to Florida’s “impact rule,” meaning it is easier to prove emotional distress. However, these scenarios fall under extraordinary circumstances. Some of the situations that may warrant an exception include:
- Emotional trauma after a wrongful death or stillbirth
- Confidentiality breach by a psychologist or psychiatrist
- Invasion of privacy
- Intentional infliction of emotional distress
- Intentional negligence
If you have fallen victim to emotional distress and are seeking compensation for your suffering, the Tampa attorneys at the Lorenzo & Lorenzo law firm specialize in all areas of personal injury and torts, including emotional trauma. Contact us today for a free consultation and see how we can help you.