emotional distress

/ March 6, 2023

Interpersonal Conflicts and the Law: When Can you Sue for Emotional Distress?

When it comes to interpersonal conflicts, there is often a fine line between what is legally actionable and what is not. This can be especially true when it comes to emotional distress. So, when can you sue for emotional distress? Here are some things you need to know.

Defining Emotional Distress

Emotional distress is an important concept to be aware of and comprehend. It can manifest in physical, mental, or behavioral symptoms and can be caused by a multitude of factors. In some cases, its roots can be traced back to our childhood experiences or traumatic events we may have experienced in our adult lives. 

It is necessary for people to understand the range of responses that emotional distress may produce so as to better identify when they may require professional help in order to deal with it correctly. By learning how to recognize it, individuals can increase their capacity for self-care and work towards establishing healthier life patterns.

The Legal Requirements for Suing for Emotional Distress

If you feel that you have suffered from emotional distress due to someone else’s negligence or intentional harm, understanding the legal requirements for suing can be a vital step to take. You will most likely need to provide extensive evidence of the distress that has been caused and in many cases, visits to a psychologist or psychiatrist may be necessary. When considering whether to pursue a lawsuit, it is important to factor in both potential financial costs and other resources such as time and energy. Doing research on past legal rulings regarding similar incidents can also help ensure you understand what is required. Ultimately, the decision should be taken carefully but with all available information in mind.

Common Examples of when you can sue for Emotional Distress

When it comes to emotional distress, legal protection is available for those who have been wronged or failed to receive recompense for any injuries that were inflicted against them. Common examples of when you can sue for emotional distress include instances of discrimination in the workplace, settlement disputes between insurance companies and claimants, victims of physical or sexual abuse, victims of libel or slander, and medical malpractice resulting in psychological trauma. Although technicalities vary by jurisdiction, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the general rights embodied in your state to ensure that you are properly supported in the event that recourse is necessary.

How to Prove Emotional Distress in Court

Proving emotional distress in court can be a difficult endeavor. Without proper backing and evidence, it may be hard to effectively demonstrate the lasting impact of emotional trauma that an individual has experienced. It is important to take into account any witnesses or experts who can attest to how the traumatic event has affected the individual, such as altering their personality or behaviour. 

Documents from medical professionals may also be used as supporting materials that note physical manifestations of distress. Additionally, a court will likely assess evidence on how much suffering was present during a wrongfully caused event, if any damages have been paid for mental health treatment, and other relevant information about the case as a whole. While proving emotional distress can be complicated and no single solution works for every situation, having these elements prepared can help bolster an individual’s ability to prove their case in court.

What damages can you recover in an emotional distress lawsuit

Commonly referred to as mental anguish, emotional distress can be a difficult experience to heal from. Damages for an emotional distress lawsuit can depend on the nature of the claim and extend beyond financial compensation, such as pain and suffering or loss of rights or dignity. Victims of emotionally distressing experiences may be entitled to financial damages for medical bills, therapy, lost wages, or any other out-of-pocket costs that are directly related to the incident in question. 

Additionally, judges sometimes award punitive damages which seek to punish a wrongdoer and deter behavior like it in the future. Winning even one case involving emotional distress is difficult due to the subjective nature of emotions; however, those who have suffered severe distress caused by another person’s wrongful conduct can seek recovery through reparations such as those mentioned here.

When you can’t sue for emotional distress

For many people, the idea of taking legal action for emotional distress is no more than a dream. Unfortunately, it’s not always as easy as simply bringing forth a claim to receive compensation for one’s suffering. In some cases, due to limited laws and conditions around what qualifies as eligible for damages, one may not be able to file a lawsuit without meeting certain criteria – including having an underlying physical injury that resulted from the distress. It is important to research the law surrounding emotional distress prior to filing in order to ensure that all conditions have been met and that such a suit is valid and within your rights.

Emotional distress can be debilitating, making it difficult to work or enjoy life. If you’ve been the victim of someone else’s intentional or negligent actions in South Carolina, contact Brewer Law Firm, LLC