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By YD Legal | Posted on May 09, 2022

How Do You Prove Emotional Distress?

When you experience a life-changing and painful accident, that pain can be much more than just physical pain, and these accidents also commonly cause emotional distress among those in accidents. This emotional distress may seem unprovable because how do you possibly prove something you cannot show? Fortunately, there are ways that our Columbus, Ohio, law firm can prove that emotional distress has occurred because of an accident.

What is Emotional Distress?

Emotional distress falls under pain and suffering, and in many accidents, people experience much more than just their physical injuries. It is an extreme emotional reaction caused by the negligent actions of a person who has breached their duty of care. For example, when a person is speeding and causes a car accident resulting in serious physical injuries, they may cause another person emotional distress in the form of anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, or depression. When under intense stress, the body reacts in ways to protect itself from further pain, and it is influenced by past experiences. Thus, a person can have long-term psychological ramifications when they experience an intense accident that changes their life somehow.

What are the Signs of Emotional Distress?

If you or a loved one is experiencing emotional suffering related to a personal injury, you may be wondering what signs may mark that distress because it can be hard to understand your feelings and recognize how deeply they impact you. It’s easy to see a broken arm or cut, but it’s harder to see emotional pain.

Look for the following signs:

  • Feelings of hopelessness, intense anger, restlessness, or sadness that you didn’t experience before
  • New anxiety or moodiness that makes it hard to engage with your life or do mandatory functions
  • Self-isolation or withdrawing from social situations or other changes in social or sexual behaviors
  • Being unable to care for oneself or tend to personal hygiene
  • Changes in your appetite, whether eating too much or too little
  • Insomnia, sleeping too much or having nightmares
  • Physical aches and pains may also relate to emotional distress
  • Memory issues or flashbacks

If you feel that something is emotionally wrong with you or a loved one, it is helpful to do further investigation into those feelings. To do this, you can keep a journal (written, video, or audio) of your emotional experiences to try to find patterns and recognize any changes.

Typical Causes of Emotional Distress

There are many incidents that can result in emotional distress, and any time that a person fears for their life or well-being can cause significant emotional pain. Additionally, when a personal injury changes a person’s abilities in any way, emotional distress is common.

While this list is not exhaustive, these types of accidents may cause emotional distress:

  • Car accidents
  • Truck accidents
  • Slip and fall accidents and other premises liabilities
  • Dog bites and animal attacks
  • Medical malpractice
  • Nursing home abuse
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents

Some types of emotional distress include:

  • Low self-esteem
  • Not enjoying activities that you once enjoyed
  • Psychological trauma
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Humiliation
  • Lowered quality of life
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Anxiety
  • Nightmares, insomnia, or other sleep issues
  • Stress
  • Mental anguish
  • Grief if a loved one was lost

If you have experienced these issues because of an accident, you may be entitled to emotional damages, and you should contact a personal injury lawyer in Columbus, Ohio. Our firm can offer you a consultation to help you get started. Read Also: How to Calculate Pain and Suffering Damages in Ohio

Why Emotional Distress is Hard to Prove?

Emotional distress can be a challenge to prove because you cannot physically see emotional distress in the way that you can see a physical injury. When someone breaks their arm, they wear a cast. Yet, when they are emotionally hurt, they don’t necessarily have an outward marker that something is wrong. Thus, it takes an extra step of effort to show emotional damage and to create a convincing case. It may be easier to see physical damages, but that doesn’t mean that a strong legal team can’t piece together your documentation and accounts of distress to help highlight how your personal injury has impacted your emotional well-being.

How Much Can You Get in an Emotional Distress Case?

The compensation for an emotional distress case varies greatly. The amount of distress and extent of other damages will reflect what you get in this type of case. We cannot estimate how much you will get out of your case without knowing more specifics about what has happened to you and how your accident has impacted your life.

Ways to Prove Emotional Distress

There are certain things that you’ll want to show when you are proving emotional distress. When proving emotional distress, you’ll want to show that another person has caused you emotional pain through their negligence.

Some of the things you’ll want to show are:

  • Intensity: how much the emotional distress impacts you and your ability to function
  • Duration: how long you have experienced emotional distress
  • Related bodily harm: you’ll want to show the connection between bodily harm caused by your accident and your emotional distress
  • Underlying cause: you should establish how the emotional distress was caused by someone else’s negligence
  • Medical records: having records related to your emotional distress helps show your pain

You can show your emotional distress through your own records and testimony, the testimony of loved ones who have seen the way you have changed, and evidence from psychological treatment. While just one of these pieces of information may not be enough, using a combination of these factors can help create a convincing case.

With the help of a Columbus personal injury lawyer, you can show how your accident has caused you emotional distress.

Finding a Personal Injury Lawyer in Columbus, Ohio

If you are experiencing emotional distress because of your accident, you deserve to have the same level of legal protection as someone who has suffered because of physical pain. Your emotional pain matters and our emotional distress law firm wants to help you get the compensation you need to improve your life and ease your suffering. You can call us for a consultation and ask any additional questions you may have. We can help you decide if you have a case and the kind of result that you could get for your case.

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