Car Accident
Greg Prosmushkin
May 17, 2023

Yes, it is possible to obtain compensation for emotional distress following a car accident through a lawsuit. Emotional distress can be a significant and long-lasting consequence of a car accident, and it can affect a person’s quality of life in many ways.

However, the ability to successfully win compensation for emotional distress will depend on several factors, Pennsylvania state laws, the severity of the emotional distress, and the specific circumstances of the accident. Emotional distress claims can be challenging to prove in court, as they often involve subjective experiences and can be difficult to quantify.

Emotional Distress

If you have been involved in a car accident and believe you have suffered emotional distress, you may want to consult with a Philadelphia car accident attorney who can advise you on your legal options. They can help evaluate your case and guide you on how to proceed with a claim.

What is Emotional Distress?

Emotional distress is the psychological and emotional suffering that an individual experiences owing to the outcome of a traumatic event or ongoing stressors. It can manifest in a variety of ways, including 

  • Anxiety; 
  • Depression; 
  • Fear;
  • Anger;
  • Shock; 
  • Sleep disturbances.

The effects of emotional distress can vary from person to person and can be temporary or long-lasting. Some people may recover quickly from emotional distress, while others may struggle with the effects for years.

Common Types of Emotional Distress Claims

Several types of emotional distress claims may arise in legal cases. Some of the most common may include:

  • Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress: This occurs when a person’s negligent conduct causes someone to suffer emotional distress, even if they were not physically injured in the incident.
  • Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress: This occurs when someone intentionally causes another person severe emotional distress through extreme and outrageous conduct.
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): This is a type of emotional distress that can occur after a person experiences or witnesses a traumatic event, such as a car accident, military combat, or sexual assault.
  • Depression and Anxiety: Depression and anxiety can be caused by a variety of events, including personal injury, discrimination, harassment, and divorce.
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life: This type of emotional distress occurs when a person is unable to enjoy their life to the same extent as before an accident or injury.
  • Sleep Disturbances: Emotional distress can often lead to difficulty sleeping, which can have a significant impact on a person’s overall health and ability to function in their daily life.

What Evidence Do I Need to Prove Emotional Distress?

Proving emotional distress in a lawsuit can be challenging because emotional distress is often subjective and can be difficult to quantify. However, there are several types of evidence that can help support a claim for emotional distress, including:

  • Medical Records: Medical records can be used to show that a person sought treatment for emotional distress following an accident or traumatic event.
  • Expert Testimony: Expert witnesses, such as psychologists or psychiatrists, can provide testimony to help establish the severity and extent of emotional distress.
  • Witness Testimony: Witnesses who observed the plaintiff’s emotional distress or behavior following an accident or traumatic event can provide valuable testimony.
  • Documentation: Documentation, such as diaries, journals, or emails, can be used to show how the plaintiff’s emotional distress has affected their daily life.
  • Photographs or Videos: Photographs or videos can be used to show the physical impact of the accident or event, which can help support claims of emotional distress.
  • Personal Testimony: The plaintiff’s testimony can be used to describe the emotional distress they have suffered and how it has affected their life.

How To File An Emotional Distress Lawsuit

If you believe you have suffered emotional distress and are considering filing a lawsuit, the following are some general steps you can take:

  • Gather evidence: Evidence is crucial in proving emotional distress. Collect all medical records, witness statements, and any other documentation that can support your case.
  • File a claim: Your attorney will help you prepare and file a claim. The claim, or civil complaint, will outline the details of your case, the injuries you have suffered, and the amount of damages you are seeking.
  • Negotiate a settlement: In many cases, emotional distress claims can be settled through negotiations with the other party or their insurance company. 
  • Proceed to trial: If a settlement cannot be reached, a judge may determine that the case should proceed to trial.

Need Legal Help? Contact The Law Offices of Greg Prosmushkin

With more than 30 years of experience handling personal injury cases including those involving emotional distress, the Law Offices of Greg Prosmushkin have the skills and knowledge necessary to fight for your rights effectively. 

Our team of lawyers will work tirelessly to help you obtain full and fair compensation for your pain and suffering. Schedule a free case consultation by calling us today at (215)-799-9990 to discuss your legal options.