When thinking of recoverable damages in a lawsuit, it normally applies to personal injury, medical bills, lost wages and economic damages. In the past, the law has generally not considered compensation for emotional distress, but is now gaining an increasing acceptance. While you may recover damages resulting from personal injury or harm, some courts are now allowing compensation for emotional harm as well. Emotional distress is suffering caused by some extreme circumstance, and can be caused accidentally or intentionally. It is usually easier to win when accompanied by physical harm that generates the emotional distress, but lawsuits under these circumstances generally encompass intentional infliction of emotional distress when presenting their case.
What Qualifies as Emotional Damages?
Intentional infliction of emotional distress and accidental infliction are the two separate paths followed by Ohio State Law. Intentional infliction is an act considered extreme and outrageous conduct done deliberately to cause severe mental trauma. Depending on the severity of the debilitating effects of the action, the plaintiff could recover lost wages, mental health related bills and punitive damages. In the case of accidental infliction of emotional distress, unlike intentional, no punitive damages could be collected because the emotional distress was caused by the accidental actions of another, but they would still be liable for other damages.
How do I Prove Emotional Damages?
Emotional distress cases are extremely difficult to prove since there are no broken bones or scars to point to, that substantiate your claim. In these cases, the scars are psychological and hidden below the surface, making it hard to prove in court that you are entitled to damages.
Some of the ways to help win your case include incorporating different strategies such as the duration of your pain and how consistent it is, ways it will provide lasting physical problems such as ulcers, migraines and symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder. You will want to have medical corroboration from your physician or therapist to prove your claims.
What are my Chances of Winning?
It varies from case to case and state to state. With the general consensus being that it is easier to achieve a win if the case is part of a personal injury lawsuit and, in some states, that is the only venue in which to present a claim for emotional distress, as it is not allowed to stand alone. If your state allows an emotional damage claim, such as Ohio, you need a reputable Cincinnati attorney to help you win. Look for a lawyer or law firm with expertise in mental anguish cases and a history of winning them. Your lawyer will know that emotional distress consists of anguish and suffering caused by negative situations or circumstances and handle them with compassion. The fact that emotional distress can be faked makes it a hard claim to prove, that's where your attorney's knowledge of the law comes in. As a lay person, you couldn't begin to fathom what a complex legal and social issue this claim is, and the complexities that need to be dealt with. They will know how to prove that emotional distress did, in fact, occur, and can determine what the fair amount of compensation should be for the settlement of your claim.