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Claiming Emotional Distress as Part of Your Personal Injury Claim

Emotional Damages in Car Accident ClaimWhen you are injured in an accident caused by the negligence or recklessness of another party, you may file a personal injury. Depending on the specific facts of the accident, you may be entitled to compensation for various injuries. Two major types of injuries you can seek compensation for are physical injuries and emotional injuries (more commonly referred to as emotional distress).

Most injury victims do not fully understand that they may be entitled to compensation for their emotional and mental trauma resulting from an accident. Distress is no different than a physical injury. A negligent party who causes an accident is on the hook for injuries caused to your body as well as to your mental and emotional well-being.

Emotional distress can be a major component of recovery in personal injury claims. If you or a loved one has suffered any type of emotional distress as a result of an injury that was caused by the negligent or reckless actions of another, you should make sure to discuss these damages with your Orange County personal injury lawyer.

What Is Emotional Distress?

Emotional distress is a state of mental suffering caused by an extreme experience caused by the negligence or reckless conduct of another. Examples of mental suffering may include:

• Anxiety
• Panic
• Self-guilt
• Suicidal thoughts
• Depression

Originally, courts only awarded emotional distress damages in conjunction with damages for actual physical harm. However, courts now recognize an injury victim’s right to an award of money damages for emotional distress without physical injury or contact. It may be necessary to use the professional testimony of a therapist or psychiatrist to validate the existence and severity of emotional distress and to place a dollar value on it.

When Am I Entitled to Emotional Distress?

Successfully bringing a claim for emotional distress in an accident claim depends on the specific facts of your case. In general, you can sue for emotional distress if:
• You witnessed the death or injury a family member
• You were a bystander to an event that caused fear or death or injury and you were actually in the “zone of danger”
• The deceased body of your loved one was mishandled

Proving Economic Distress

Quantifying emotional distress, unlike physical injuries, can be difficult. Typically, in order to seek emotional damages, you have to prove that fear or distress caused you bodily injury or sickness (the proper elements of damage).

Two common types of evidence necessary to prove non-economic damages, such as emotional distress, are medical reports and personal testimony regarding physical symptoms.

Call Us Today!

If you or a loved one has been physically or emotionally injured in an accident caused by a negligent party, you may be entitled to compensation. To ensure you get the full money damages you deserve, you need to consult with and hire an Orange County accident attorney.

For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with an OC car accident lawyer, please call the Law Offices of Samer Habbas at (888) 848-5084.


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Our firm is well experienced in injury matters and we understand the difficult time you are going through. We will guide you through the process and fight for you and your family to get the compensation you deserve.

Samer Habbas