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What Is Emotional Distress in a Personal Injury Case?

Depressed young man sitting on floor in darkness

If you’ve been hurt in a car accident, a slip and fall, or some other negligence-based incident in Texas, you have the right to seek compensation from the at-fault party. There are a few different categories of damages you can collect, including compensation for your medical bills, your property damage, and your lost income. In addition to these “economic” losses, you can also seek to recover compensation for your “non-economic” damages, including your pain and suffering and your emotional distress.

Just what is “emotional distress” in a personal injury case? Continue reading to learn about emotional distress and personal injury claims. For help seeking compensation from a negligent party in Dallas or statewide, call a dedicated Texas personal injury attorney at the Turley Law Firm for assistance and representation.

Defining Emotional Distress

When you are hurt in a car accident, a slip and fall, or some other traumatic incident, you may suffer a few different types of legal damages. You can collect “economic” damages for your direct financial losses–lost income during your recovery, medical costs, property damage, etc. You can also recover “non-economic” damages for the losses that you suffer that are less tangible and harder to quantify, but that are no less real. These include recovery for your pain and suffering and emotional distress.

In personal injury law, emotional distress generally refers to non-physical damage you’ve suffered as a result of a traumatic accident or injury. Emotional distress is a subjective harm and varies from person to person. Emotional distress can include any mental harm and associated symptoms you’ve suffered as a result of your accident, including inability to sleep, feeling overwhelmed, or other symptoms that prevent you from acting as you normally would have prior to the event that has caused you such distress.

Examples of Emotional Distress

In Texas, personal injury victims can sue to recover compensation for emotional distress caused by a traumatic event, typically accompanying a physical injury. Examples of emotional distress you may be able to claim after a traffic crash, a premises liability fall, or other incident include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Insomnia
  • Guilt
  • Eating disorders
  • Feeling hopeless or helpless
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Loss of life enjoyment
  • Substance abuse

Seeking Compensation for Emotional Distress

If you were hurt in an accident and you are suffering emotional distress as a result, you have the right to seek compensation. You are entitled to recover for more than just your physical injuries and associated costs.

Proving emotional distress can be more challenging than proving physical injury and direct financial losses. With help from a seasoned emotional distress injury lawyer, you’ll need to collect and produce appropriate evidence to prove your emotional distress claims. Important evidence to collect may include:

  • Medical reports
  • Medical bills
  • Photos of your injuries
  • Photos of the accident site
  • Mental health costs
  • Statements from treating physicians and mental health professionals
  • Statements from family, friends, coworkers, teachers, and others about your mental state
  • Loss of employment
  • Expert witness testimony

It’s hard to predict how much an emotional distress claim can be worth, but in many cases, non-economic damages like pain and suffering and emotional distress outweigh the direct economic damages. Talk to a seasoned Texas injury lawyer about your case to discuss your options and how to get the treatment you need and the compensation you deserve.

If you or a family member has been injured in a Texas car crash or other negligence-based incident, please contact the Turley Law Firm online or call 214-691-4025 or email today to schedule your free consultation. Our zealous Dallas attorneys serve clients throughout Texas and multiple Southern and Southwestern states.

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