Can I file a personal injury claim for emotional distress?

If you are suffering from emotional distress, such as PTSD, nightmares, depression, or thoughts of suicide, after an accident, you may have the right to pursue damages.


Emotional Distress


Emotional distress might sound like a vague term, but when it comes to personal injury law, there is a clear definition of this actual condition.

In legal terms, emotional distress is considered to be the mental suffering of a person. This suffering is generally the result of a traumatic event or experience. Symptoms of emotional distress include:


  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Panic
  • Depression
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Guilt


With regards to emotional distress and the law, a lawyer may look towards the root cause the the distress which is usually the result of negligence or a malicious act. It is possible for physical to injury to exist alongside the emotional distress. The physical injury could be moderate to severe, temporary or permanent. It must be made clear that a physical injury does not need to be present in order to recover damages for emotional distress. That said, when a physical injury does exist, it may act as concrete proof for the emotional distress; therefore, legal action could be easier to pursue.


Causes of Emotional Distress

Every person will react differently to a similar and different experience; however, there are some that are considered to be more likely to result in some kind of emotional distress. As a personal injury lawyer, our firm has handled cases involving:


  • Witnessing the abuse or death of a child;
  • Witnessing the abuse or death of a family member or friend
  • Witnessing the abuse or death of a loved animal
  • Witnessing a dangerous even, as a bystander
  • Exposure to toxic materials resulting in various fears
  • Exposure to disease resulting in fears of contracting a disease
  • Medical malpractice
  • Sexual abuse
  • A violent act


Over the last few years, the legal standards for how emotional abuse is defined and accepted have significantly changed. These continue to be updated, and is one reason in the manner of seeking emotional distress damages, you choose only a qualified personal injury lawyer.


Filing a Personal Injury Claim for Emotional Distress


When you file a personal injury claim, you are able to include any physical or emotional injuries. If property damage occurred, this may be included in a different claim. Your claim will be filed against the liable person, company, or entity. Some of the most common reasons personal injury claims are filed include:


  • Car and truck accidents
  • Bicycle accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Medical malpractice
  • Product defects
  • Slip and fall claims
  • Animal attacks
  • A malicious act of violence


The only you can know if you have a legitimate personal injury claim for emotional distress is to ask a personal injury attorney. Call a lawyer to learn more. We handled 99% of personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis. This  means you are not required to pay any upfront fees. Only if we win your case, will we settle our legal fees with you. For a consultation with a personal injury lawyer Phoenix, AZ trusts from  Rispoli Law, PLLC get a hold of our firm today.