Emotional distress is a type of damage you can seek compensation for by filing a lawsuit in Florida. However, because emotional distress is an intangible accident-related damage, it can be challenging to prove that you suffered emotionally.
A Boca Raton personal injury lawyer from our firm can help you build your case for compensation. We will consider all your economic and non-economic damages, including emotional distress. Your attorney can gather the evidence necessary to prove you deserve compensation for emotional distress.
You Can Sue for Emotional Distress in Florida–Under Certain Conditions
Proving you suffer from emotional distress is challenging. Unlike physical injuries your physician can see and document, emotional damage is invisible. Your close friends and family may observe emotional changes, but it’s hard to present emotional distress as the sole damage you have suffered in your case.
If you have physical injuries as a result of the traumatic event you went through, suing for emotional distress damages might be easier. Emotional trauma is recognized as a common result of physical trauma, whether it’s due to a car accident, medical malpractice, or another incident.
A lawyer can call witnesses such as your psychotherapist to provide testimony supporting your claim of emotional distress. However, without suffering tangible damages from an accident, you won’t be able to pursue an emotional distress case, even if you believe you are experiencing it.
What Is Emotional Distress?
Synonymous with mental anguish, emotional distress is a legal term for psychological suffering you experience due to a traumatic event such as a car accident. If you suffer emotional distress due to an accident in which someone else is negligent, you can file a personal injury lawsuit to recover compensation for your psychological injuries.
Examples of emotional distress include trouble sleeping, suicidal thoughts, depression, stress, anxiety, fear, and feelings of shame or humiliation. Maybe you are having nightmares about the accident, or perhaps you have difficulty getting into a vehicle because you don’t feel safe.
There are therapeutic services, such as counseling, available to treat your emotional distress. Compensation can cover these costs.
How Can You Prove Emotional Distress?
Proving emotional distress is challenging but not impossible. Your medical records could serve as evidence of emotional distress if your doctor made a diagnosis of depression. Treatment for certain types of self-injury can also have documentation that would prove useful as evidence to present in your case.
Your personal injury lawyer can also call witnesses such as your counselor, therapist, and other experts to deliver testimony in support of your emotional distress case. They can describe how your emotional distress impacts your mental health and daily life.
You will also have to prove that your emotional distress is the result of someone else’s negligence. For example, this could be the other driver in a car accident who carelessly ran a stop sign. Proving negligence is key to recovering damages from the liable party.
The Link Between Property Damage and Emotional Distress Claims
When pursuing a lawsuit for emotional distress in Florida, it’s important to understand you can only do so and win if you have tangible property damage or loss.
At GED Lawyers, we recognize the deep emotional impact that property loss can have, and we’re skilled at drawing the connection between physical damage and your emotional suffering.
- Property damage as a foundation for emotional distress claims: In many cases, emotional distress is a direct result of property damage or loss. The destruction of a home, vehicle, or personal belongings can lead to significant psychological stress. Our approach focuses on demonstrating how these material losses have contributed to your emotional distress, making your claim more compelling.
- Strengthening your claim with tangible evidence: Emotional distress on its own can be challenging to prove due to its subjective nature. However, when combined with concrete evidence of property damage or loss, your claim becomes grounded and persuasive. We meticulously document your property losses to provide a solid foundation for your emotional distress claim.
- Maximizing compensation through comprehensive claims: Our strategy involves presenting a holistic view of your losses. By combining property damage and emotional distress into a single claim, we aim to maximize the compensation you receive. This approach acknowledges the material impact of the incident and validates the psychological effect it’s had on you.
Types of Emotional Distress Lawsuits
The Florida courts will consider if your emotional distress is due to negligent infliction or intentional infliction. These are the two types of emotional distress lawsuits you can pursue as a victim of personal injury:
- Negligent infliction: If the liable party had a duty of care to keep you safe, failing to exercise that duty is negligence. Negligence can occur in medical malpractice cases, car accident cases, and premises liability cases, to name a few. You can file a personal injury or a wrongful death lawsuit to recover damages.
- Intentional infliction: If someone inflicts emotional trauma on you on purpose, this is known as intentional infliction. This includes sexual assault, workplace harassment, discrimination, or any other intentional infliction of trauma.
During a free consultation, your lawyer can help you determine which type of lawsuit fits your case. We will evaluate your case during this time and answer your questions as we work to provide you with options.
What Is the Value of Your Emotional Distress Case?
The value of your emotional distress case will depend on a variety of factors, such as how the distress impacts your daily life, how severe it is, and whether you have financial losses because of it.
It’s also more difficult to determine the value of emotional distress damages because they are non-monetary or non-economic, unlike economic damages such as medical bills or lost income.
The cost of any treatment you receive for your emotional distress would count as economic damages with a monetary value, therefore being easier to calculate. A personal injury lawyer from our firm can work to calculate the cost of the damages in your case so you can recover the compensation you deserve.
How Much Time Do You Have to File a Lawsuit for Emotional Distress In Florida?
You have two years to file a personal injury lawsuit in Florida, according to Florida Statutes § 95.11. This includes emotional distress cases. You have the right to take time to consider your options but keep in mind that you don’t have forever to file your case. Speaking with a personal injury attorney can help you decide how to proceed.
If you don’t file a personal injury lawsuit before the deadline in your case runs out, the courts will not consider your case, and you won’t be able to seek compensation through the legal process. However, there may be exceptions in which we can seek an extension, and your lawyer will work to meet the statute of limitations in your case.
Learn More About Filing an Emotional Distress Lawsuit in Florida
Emotional distress is a valid type of damage, and you have the right to seek compensation to cover your losses. You can hold the liable party accountable for their negligence and get justice.
A personal injury lawyer from GED Lawyers can handle your emotional distress case in Florida so you can focus on healing. To learn more about emotional distress lawsuits or get a free consultation to discuss your case, contact us today.