Suing For Emotional Distress Damages in California

Find A California Personal Injury Lawyer For Emotional Distress Damages


A serious accident might result in not only bodily but also emotional trauma. Unfortunately, emotional distress is more challenging to quantify than physical injury. The consequences and impact on victims, however, are still very real. Therefore, you should seek a Personal Injury Attorney in California to help you wade through the legal process.


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What Qualifies As Emotional Distress Damages in California?


Before we can begin the process of filing a lawsuit for mental distress, we must first define what emotional distress is in the eyes of the law.

Emotional distress is a sort of emotional sorrow or misery brought on by a negligent or intentional act. According to the courts, emotional distress is a sort of damage that you can recover in a civil action. This means that if you have evidence to back up your accusations, you can sue someone for emotional pain or distress.
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Most claims for mental distress necessitate that you have been physically harmed as a result of the incident. Recent rulings, however, have allowed victims to obtain damages for mental distress without proving physical injuries. Therefore, psychological and emotional trauma alone, as a result of situations such as sexual abuse or defamation, may be grounds for an emotional distress claim, depending on the circumstances.

How Do You File A Claim For Emotional Distress in California?


How do you sue someone for mental anguish? The stages for filing a claim for emotional damages are as follows:

  • Keep a journal of your distress. To support your case, you'll need to keep track of your medical documents, work records, personal diaries, and so on. You could even use an electronic health tracker to keep track of your heart rate and sleep patterns. It will be simpler to recover damages if you document your anguish well.

  • Consult with a California Personal Injury Lawyer. Your lawyer will go over your paperwork with you and assist you in preparing for legal action. They can also help you by doing an investigation on their own.

  • Formally filing legal action. You'll file an emotional distress case against the defendant with the help of your attorney.

  • Making preparations for trial. After the defendant has been served, the discovery process will begin, during which the two sides will share information. To avoid a trial, the two parties may work out a settlement agreement. Your California Personal Injury Lawyer will advise you on whether or not you should accept the settlement offer.

  • Settlement/Trial. The courts will hear all sides' arguments and evidence before making a judgment.

Suing someone for causing you emotional distress can be a time-consuming and challenging process. To give yourself the best chance of recovering your damages, familiarize yourself with the process and talk with a California Personal Injury Attorney.


Types Of Emotional Distress Claims in California

Emotional anguish claims are divided into two categories:

  1. Negligent infliction of emotional distress. This occurs when the defendant unwittingly causes you emotional distress. It's worth noting that the individual suing for emotional distress does not have to have suffered harm due to the incident. Most modern jurisdictions will allow emotional distress damages to be recovered if the subject was only in the danger zone.

  2. Intentional emotional distress infliction. When a defendant intentionally or recklessly causes emotional damage to another person, this form of claim arises. For example, while calling someone a name might not be grounds for a case, persistent tormenting and verbal attacks may.

Know that filing legal claims requires you to be specific on all fronts. Let your California Personal Injury Attorney to help you with the legalese and monetary factors of your claim.


How Can I Prove Emotional Distress?


When determining whether or not you can sue someone for mental distress, the evidence is crucial. If you want to claim stress or other mental struggles, you must show that you had emotional distress. Here are some types of evidence you could use to support your claim:

  • Injury to the body. Physical injuries caused by the encounter are usually easy to spot. Ulcers, cognitive impairment, and headaches, for example, can all be signs of emotional discomfort.

  • Time. The longer you've been in pain, the more convincing your claim becomes.

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  • Medical records and other documents. A doctor's or psychologist's report is crucial in proving emotional discomfort. This is why it's critical to get medical help as soon as possible following an accident.

  • The seriousness of the initial occurrence. The more heinous and upsetting the initial event, the more likely it is that the courts will rule on emotional distress.

  • Testimonies. The impact of the incident on your life will be taken into account by the courts. Family members, friends, doctors, and coworkers can all testify in your favor.

Ask your California Personal Injury Lawyer what else you might do to help with the collection of evidence.

Is It Difficult To Get Emotional Distress Damages?

While it is possible to sue for mental distress, the process might be complicated. Symptoms of mental anguish, unlike physical injuries, may not be evident to the typical person. This emphasizes the need to document your ordeal.

Furthermore, it would help if you guaranteed that your testimony and that of others are consistent. Expert witnesses may be asked to testify about your situation, which might take a long time and cost a lot of money.

Establishing a link between negligence or purpose and the losses you have suffered can take a lot of legal investigation. This is why you should be working closely with your California Personal Injury Attorney.

Is it Possible to File an Emotional Distress Claim If You Haven't Been Injured Physically?


A physical injury or some other form of tangible harm is required for an emotional distress claim. For close misses, there is no claim for mental anguish. For example, if another car comes dangerously close to colliding with you but manages to avoid it, you have no legal recourse.


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