Personal injury settlements may be awarded to injured parties for the losses they suffered due to a given accident. When calculating a settlement package, a number of factors are considered. These items often include but are not limited to compensation for medical expenses and/or damages to personal property.

While personal injury settlements are often calculated based on physical losses, you may also be able to receive compensation for emotional or mental distress caused by an incident.

The amount of compensation awarded for emotional distress largely depends on the severity of an incident, as well as the strength of your claim. Providing evidence for emotional distress when filing a case can be more difficult than providing evidence for other damages.

If you have been struggling with mental or emotional distress as a result of a personal injury, the right lawyer can help you determine how much to sue for, as well as build you a rock-solid case.

At Schwartzapfel Lawyers, we can provide you with the lawyer that best fits your personal and legal needs. You can get in touch with one of our skilled lawyers to help with your case by visiting us online or by calling 1-516-342-2200 today.

What is Emotional Distress in Personal Injury Cases?

People often experience emotional distress in the aftermath of traumatic events such as car-on-car and slip, trip, and fall accidents. At its simplest, emotional distress may be characterized as a surge of mental agony, anxiety, and/or stress. Emotional distress can either be the result of or occur alongside physical injury, or it can occur on its own. Note: In certain cases, a claimant may only sue for emotional distress if they also suffered a physical injury.

Events that cause emotional distress can be classified into one of two categories:

Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress (IIED)

IIED describes an event in which an at-fault party purposefully or recklessly engages in a behavior or action that inflicts emotional distress on another individual.

Examples of IIED can include verbal harassment in the workplace, which leads to anxiety and fear on behalf of the afflicted individual. Survivors of IIED can claim compensation for emotional distress even if they were not physically harmed due to an incident.

Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress (NIED)

NIED describes situations in which an at-fault party’s negligent actions lead to emotional distress. In this case, emotional distress is not intentionally afflicted but rather occurs when an individual fails to maintain certain duties or responsibilities.

For example, negligence that leads to the wrongful death of an individual can lead to emotional distress on behalf of a family member. In most cases, NIED can only be claimed alongside physical injuries.

There are different situations in which emotional distress can be inflicted on an individual. All types of accidents that result in injuries and property damages can also be the cause of emotional distress.

Auto accidents, for example, can cause significant emotional distress alongside bodily harm and property loss. After a car accident, many people may experience anxiety surrounding cars and driving that interferes with their ability to partake in their normal day-to-day activities. Such individuals may be able to claim compensation for emotional distress in an auto accident case.

The right lawyer can help you determine if you can successfully claim emotional distress after an accident as well as pinpoint what guidelines apply to your case specifically. To speak with one of our highly qualified trial attorneys at no charge, please reach out to Schwartzapfel Lawyersnowby calling 1-516-342-2200 or visiting us online.

Signs of Emotional Distress After an Accident or Personal Injury

Being able to recognize the signs of emotional distress after an accident can help affected individuals get the help they need. It can also help with assessing their mental condition and building a case against an at-fault party.

Examples of some of the more common signs of emotional distress include but are not limited to:

  • Persistent anxiety or stress relating to an accident
  • Depression and/or lack of interest in daily activities
  • Irregular sleep, sleeping too much or too little
  • Irregular eating, overeating, or not eating enough
  • Lack of focus or concentration on tasks
  • Fatigue, headaches, body aches, and/or other special symptoms

If an individual exhibits any of these signs after an accident, they should seek attention from a qualified mental health care professional. That way, they can receive the appropriate treatment their condition(s) calls for.

To claim emotional distress in a personal injury case, an afflicted individual must provide proof of their mental condition. This can be in the form of a mental health assessment or other medical documentation.

For more information on emotional distress and recovering the money and benefits you are entitled to, please call Schwartzapfel Lawyers today at 1-516-342-2200. It will be our honor and privilege to assist you as best we can, however we can.

Calculating Damages in Personal Injury Cases

It is a common misconception that personal injury cases only involve accidents that result in physical injuries and/or impairments. Within legal contexts, the term personal injury refers to any harm inflicted upon an individual’s physical body, property, reputation, and/or mental or emotional well-being.

Personal injury lawsuits against an at-fault or negligent party function to compensate afflicted individuals with compensation for all of their losses, not just those that pertain to bodily harm.

Losses, or damages, are calculated in personal injury cases based on evidence that is provided by the claimant.

The following are examples of the kinds of damages an individual may claim when filing a lawsuit:

  • Medical expenses for treatments, procedures, hospital stays, doctor visits, and more
  • Lost income and wages if an afflicted individual is unable to work while in recovery
  • Compensation for disability or long-term impairment
  • Coverage for property damage (in some cases)
  • Compensation for emotional or mental distress after an accident

To receive coverage for the above damages, the claimant must be able to provide documentation such as medical bills and assessments as well as wage and employment information.

Calculating Compensation for Emotional Distress

The amount of compensation a claimant may be eligible to receive for emotional distress depends on the severity of their mental condition as well as proving liability for personal injury.

As explained, there are different types of emotional distress, as well as different ways in which it can be inflicted. A claimant may be eligible for more compensation if emotional distress was intentionally afflicted or if it occurred alongside physical harm.

Individuals who were victims of intentional emotional distress may receive punitive damages on top of compensation for their mental condition. Punitive damages are awarded to punish or hold an at-fault party responsible for actions that are deemed especially malicious or harmful.

While there is no set or average amount of money you may expect to receive in compensation for emotional distress, the right lawyer may be able to help you determine how much you can claim. A good lawyer will also fight for your rights and ensure you receive the best possible settlement you can.

For more information at no cost, dial 1-516-342-2200 to get in touch with one of our seasoned lawyers at Schwartzapfel Lawyers. Alternatively, you can visit us online to set up a time to go over any questions or concerns you may have.

How Do You Sue for Emotional Distress?

The process of suing for emotional distress is very similar to suing for any other type of personal injury. You must first gather all necessary information and evidence to build your case and then file a claim in court.

To receive financial compensation for emotional distress, you must be able to prove that your condition affects your day-to-day life and ability to partake in normal tasks or activities.

As mentioned, you must be able to provide medical documentation to corroborate your claims. This can include a professional assessment (e.g., PTSD diagnosis) from a certified therapist, counselor, social worker, psychologist, and/or psychiatrist.

Such assessments can also help establish a relationship between the emotional distress you are experiencing and the event that caused it. You must be able to prove that the at-fault party’s harmful actions were a direct cause.

For example, anxiety as a result of a car accident can interfere with an individual’s ability to get back behind the wheel and commute as they usually do. A diagnosis of anxiety, as well as a medical assessment of how it affects the afflicted individual, can help hold the at-fault party responsible for emotional distress.

Here and elsewhere, the right lawyer can guide you on what you will need in order to prove injury and liability in a case. To that end, the lawyers at Schwartzapfel Lawyers come equipped with more than (150) years of combined experience successfully handling all different types of personal injury cases, including claims for emotional distress.

And so, to hire the right lawyer for your lawsuit, please call 1-516-342-2200 today so that we may fight for you now and always!

DISCLAIMER: Nothing on this page should be considered legal advice. You should seek the appropriate counsel your situation requires. For more information, call 1-516-342-2200 now!


Schwartzapfel Lawyers, P.C. | Fighting For You™™

Infliction of Emotional Distress Elements | NYC Bar

PTSD and emotional distress symptoms measured after a motor vehicle accident: Relationships with pain coping profiles – PMC | National Library of Medicine

Personal Injury – Legal Information Institute | Cornell Law School

Suing for Emotional Distress: How and When to Sue | Forbes Advisor

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