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Emotional Distress As Part Of Your Personal Injury Claim When you are injured in an accident that was caused by the reckless or negligent actions of another party, you may be entitled to monetary compensation by bringing a claim against the party who caused you harm. Depending on the specific facts of your accident, your attorney may file a claim for a variety of different causes of actions.

One cause of action that you may claim under California law is that of negligent infliction of emotional distress. This is not an independent tort, but rather the tort of negligence that involves the traditional elements of duty, breach, causation and damages.

When Can I Bring a Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress Claim?

A cause of action for negligent infliction of emotional distress lies (commonly referred to as NIED) can be successfully claimed only if you have suffered serious emotional distress as a result of a breach of duty owed to you (the plaintiff) that is assumed or imposed upon the wrongdoer (the defendant) as a matter of law, or that arises out of a relationship between you and the wrongdoer. This relationship must be a preexisting and consensual relationship that resulted in a legally protectable interest.

California law recognizes two theories of NIED recovery: 1) the bystander theory and 2) the direct victim theory.

  • The Bystander Theory: Under this theory, you must prove that you were 1) closely related to the injured victim; 2) you were present at the scene of the accident at the time of occurrence and were aware of the injuries caused to the victim; and 3) as a result you suffered emotional distress beyond that which would be anticipated in a disinterested witness.
  • The Direct Victim Theory: Under this theory, you must prove that 1) the wrongdoer (defendant) owed you a duty; 2) the defendant breached that duty; 3) the breach caused you damages. It should be noted that under California law, there is no duty to avoid negligently causing emotional distress to another. As such, recovery is only available if the emotional distress arises out of the defendant’s breach of some other legal duty that proximately caused your emotional distress.

Call an Experienced Los Angeles Accident Attorney

The legal team at the Law Offices of Samer Habbas is dedicated to helping our accident clients who have suffered serious physical and emotional injuries reach the best monetary settlements.

If you or a loved one has any questions about your personal injury claim, our experienced Los Angeles personal injury attorneys are available to personally review your case.  Call us at 1-888-848-5048 to schedule a free, complimentary consultation with our legal team today.

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Samer Habbas is a California attorney with over 18 years of experience in personal injury law. Throughout his career, he has successfully recovered over $300 million for his clients, solidifying his reputation as a leading advocate in the field.

Samer swiftly gained recognition for his adept negotiation skills and unwavering dedication to his clients. His practice spans a wide range of personal injury cases, including car accidents, dog bites, funeral home abuse, premises liability, and wrongful death.

Samer is known for his compassionate approach and commitment to securing favorable outcomes for his clients. His expertise has earned him the trust and respect of both his clients and his peers within the legal community. He is also deeply invested in giving back to his community. He actively participates in pro bono work and volunteers his time to various charitable organizations. Samer is a champion for those who have been wronged, leveraging his extensive experience and expertise to make a meaningful difference in the lives of his clients and his community.