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Car accidents: What is emotional distress and how to prove it?

| Sep 21, 2020 | Car Accidents, Injuries |

How do people know whether they have valid claims for emotional distress? Victims of serious car accidents in Tennessee caused by other parties’ negligence typically have grounds to file personal injury claims in civil court. While the expenses related to their physical injuries may be easy to prove with doctors’ bills, how do they prove that they also suffered emotional distress?

When someone files a personal injury lawsuit, pain and suffering is typically included in the documented claims. It refers to the physical and emotional stress caused by an injury. It could include scars, depression, aches, limited activities and the possibility of a shortened life. Emotional or mental distress could also result in anxiety, anguish, torment, humiliation, depression and insomnia.

For emotional distress claims to be valid, the plaintiff must prove the distress will cause long-term health problems. Furthermore, it must be shown that the stress resulted from the negligence of the defendant. Thirdly, it must be medically significant. For example, claiming compensation for headaches might not be a valid emotional distress claim. The court might also require proof that physical injuries caused emotional distress.

Most victims of car accidents in Tennessee retain the services of an experienced personal injury attorney. Legal counsel will consider factors like the intensity of the mental distress, the expected duration of the condition and how it is linked to bodily injuries. Also, the cause of the suffering and a doctor’s report to confirm psychological symptoms. The attorney can help the plaintiff produce the necessary evidence to substantiate the claims before proceeding with the insurance claim. Legal counsel can also assess a civil lawsuit’s viability and represent the plaintiff in court if such a claim is filed.