Physical injury is one thing in a personal injury claim, but emotional distress can be a lot harder to prove. Unlike a physical injury, emotional injury cannot be seen with simple observance in most cases. If you plan to base your personal injury claim on mostly emotional distress, there are five questions you should ask yourself to make sure you actually have a chance to prove your claims.
1. What is/will be the duration of your emotional distress? If the emotional distress you are experiencing is only short-lived, you have less of a chance of having a basis for a legal claim. For example, if someone posts a picture of you online and you are temporarily embarrassed, the effects will most likely be short-lived. However, if a photo is so degrading that it haunts you for the rest of your life, affecting future relationships in your personal and business life, this would be considered long-term distress.
2. How severe is the underlying cause of your emotional disturbance? The initial action or negligence that caused your distress to start with will be heavily influencing in court. Simple actions of disregard are not usually considered as emotionally damaging as something major, such as an animal attack or medical malpractice claim.
3. Can your claims be proven by a psychologist? A doctor's note will not just help if you have physical problems, but if you are suffering with emotional damage as well. If you're so distressed after an incident that a psychologist will put it in writing, you will have a better chance of getting somewhere with a legal suit.
4. Is your distress related to a physical impairment? A personal injury claim will be much more likely to land in your favor if your emotional distress comes from a physical injury. For example, if you were in an auto accident where the other driver was at fault and you are left walking with a cane for the rest of your life, the emotional distress of the situation can be considerably high.
5. How intense is the distress you are experiencing? Even the intensity of your emotional distress will be considered in a personal injury claim. If an accident or injury leaves you feeling vaguely bothered, you probably don't have a case. But, if the intensity of your distress is enough to affect your everyday life negatively, you should talk to a lawyer.
When it comes down to it, emotional distress can sometimes be one of the most difficult types of personal injury claims to prove. However, if you have the right answers to these five questions, there is a good chance that your claim will be successful. Talk to your chosen personal injury lawyer, such as those at The Gil Law Firm, for more information.