Skip to content

Can I Sue for Emotional Distress?

When someone is involved in an accident, EMTs and paramedics check them for injuries – broken bones, head injuries, lacerations or spinal cord injuries. These types of injuries require immediate and skilled medical care, and many patients face a long road of physical rehabilitation and recovery. While we’re trying to deal with these types of traumatic injuries, we may not realize we’re also suffering from emotional or psychological injuries as well.

In certain cases, Tennessee law allows victims of car crashes and other accidents to seek compensation for damages for emotional distress.

What is emotional distress?

If you’ve been through a traumatic event or incident, whether or not you suffered physical harm, you may experience emotional trauma. Depending on the person and circumstance, emotional distress can manifest with both non-physical and physical symptoms. Non-physical symptoms might include anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Common physical symptoms of emotional distress include weight loss, vomiting, nausea or sleep disturbances.

When another individual causes your emotional distress and injuries, you may have a personal injury action against them. In a typical case, the injured party seeks compensation for medical expenses and lost income. You may also seek compensation for emotional distress.

How do I prove I’m suffering from emotional distress?

Although emotional distress is very real, it can also be difficult to prove, because the costs aren’t all quantifiable, like a physical injury. However, just like with a physical injury, it’s important to seek treatment for any type of psychological and emotional distress after an accident or traumatic incident. This includes mental health specialists, doctors, psychologists or counselors.

In addition to prioritizing your mental health, documenting your treatment after the accident or incident is very important. During negotiations or court proceedings, documentation and testimony from doctors and professionals is paramount in demonstrating how the trauma has emotionally damaged you. Often, this emotional distress is linked to physical injuries from an accident, particularly catastrophic injuries that can leave a victim disfigured or permanently disabled.

How do you determine the cost of emotional distress?

Nobody can put a price or cost on your mental health. In terms of medical bills, save and document all of your records, invoices and visits to mental health counselors or therapists, including any medications. Your attorney can work with you to prove your level of emotional suffering and loss of enjoyment of life. Damages may also include how your emotional trauma will affect you in the future, including any medical expenses and loss of future earning capacity.

If you’ve suffered emotional distress due to an accident or injury that wasn’t your fault, talk to an experienced attorney about your options. Wagner Workers Compensation & Personal Injury Lawyers protects your right to compensation – serving clients in Chattanooga and Cleveland, TN, in North Georgia, and all surrounding counties. Call us today at 423-756-7923 or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation.