How Do You Determine the Value of Emotional Distress?
What is emotional distress? The legal definition, according to Webster, is “a highly unpleasant emotional reaction (as anguish, humiliation, or fury) which results from another’s conduct and for which damages may be sought.”
As you can imagine, it is a difficult task to prove emotional distress, given its intangible nature. Emotional distress can include anxiety, nervousness, guilt, frustration, insomnia, fear, shame, and humiliation. Many personal injury victims experience some type of emotional distress, but persuading the judge or insurance adjustor takes more than a list of symptoms. You have to provide evidence and clearly state how those symptoms affected you.
Emotional Distress and its Monetary Impact
Emotional distress is not tangible the way a physical injury is, but it still causes as much despair and problems as its physical counterpart. Experiencing emotional distress can lead to a tangible financial burden that can be defined in numbers. For example, the cost of any psychiatric treatment you need after suffering an accident, the number of days you missed work, and the lost wages incurred during that time are ways of providing context to the value of such distress.
Documenting Your Experience
The extent of your pain and suffering may seem difficult to explain to a judge. However, if you keep a diary of these experiences and how the anxiety you are feeling is affecting your work, marriage or health, you will be able to show the judge the depth of your pain and how it relates to the monetary impact on your life.
Make sure you have a note from a doctor or a psychologist in order to support your claim. The note should address the intensity of the mental anguish and the duration of the emotional distress, especially if it is a persistent condition such as post-traumatic stress. Be sure to also address any physical pain and suffering resulting from the incident, any limitations you now face because of it (whether temporary or permanent), as well as depression stemming from this traumatic event.
The Right Lawyer Will Make All the Difference in the World
Cases involving emotional distress may be difficult to prove by a less experienced attorney. Given the intangible nature of the harm that you are trying to prove to a judge, you should trust only the best of lawyers to represent you who will make sure you are awarded the highest possible figure. Rossetti & DeVoto PC won over $1 billion in verdicts and settlements for our clients. Contact us at (844) 263-6260 for a free case evaluation and let us help you make the best case for your emotional distress.