Seeking Compensation For Emotional Distress In A Personal Injury Case

Seeking Compensation For Emotional Distress In A Personal Injury Case
Image by LEANDRO AGUILAR z Pixabay

Chicago, the vibrant metropolis nestled along the shores of Lake Michigan, is no stranger to bustling streets and busy intersections where accidents can occur. In such a dynamic urban landscape, personal injury cases are not uncommon, and the consequences can extend far beyond physical injuries and medical expenses. Emotional distress is an often-overlooked aspect of personal injury, leaving victims grappling with pain and suffering long after the physical wounds heal. If you find yourself in such a situation, it’s crucial to understand why seeking compensation for emotional distress is equally essential in the aftermath of an accident or traumatic event.

Emotional distress should never be underestimated or overlooked in a personal injury case. If you or your loved ones have endured emotional trauma due to someone else’s negligence, remember that you have the right to seek justice and compensation. The healing journey may seem challenging, but with the support and expertise of dedicated personal injury lawyers, you can navigate the legal landscape with confidence and assert your rights. You can visit the website of a reputable law firm, learn more from these Chicago personal injury lawyers and gain insights into the legal avenues available for your personal injury case. 

In this blog post, we delve into the significance of seeking compensation for emotional distress in a personal injury case and the vital role of legal help during such times. We will explore how emotional distress is evaluated, the legal criteria required to establish a claim, and the types of damages available to Chicago residents in such cases. 

What is Emotional Distress?

Emotional distress can refer to any negative emotional state caused by the actions or negligence of another person. It may include symptoms such as anxiety, depression, fear, humiliation, anger, or sleeplessness. These feelings can impact your relationships, work life, and daily routines.

Types of Emotional Distress Claims

There are different types of claims relating to emotional distress that can arise in personal injury situations:

  1. Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress: This claim arises when an individual experiences severe mental or emotional suffering due to someone else’s negligence, which leads to them getting injured.
  1. Intentional Infliction Of Emotional Distress: This claim focuses on intentional harm from an accused party through extreme behavior directed at the victim that goes beyond what society considers acceptable conduct, creating vividly overpowering emotions and leaving the victim with actual damages that were not foreseeable, thus leading to being compensated.
  1. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): PTSD may occur after experiencing traumatic events like car accidents resulting in serious bodily injuries such as Head trauma. It is a category of injury that the courts have recognized as involving ongoing psychological symptoms like flashbacks, nightmares, repetitive thoughts, and energy loss.

Proving Your Claim For Emotional Distress

To secure compensation for emotional stress from the insurance carrier of the party at fault, it’s crucial to substantiate that their actions were either deliberate or negligent, resulting in a breach of their warranty or commitment, thus causing the distress. This demanding task can be accomplished with the aid of legal representation, as various components contribute to building a strong case.

Furthermore, effectively communicating with your insurance company is a critical step. Ensuring that you navigate the process in a clear and strategic manner can significantly impact the outcome of your claim.

  1. Medical evidence or testimony: You need testimony from a medical expert to relate the emotional distress to the incident(s). That testimony must include evidence and an examination of your psychological symptoms. Relying solely on personal testimony usually does not hold up in court.
  1. Credible Witnesses: Witnesses may be important to proving negligence or intentional harm by demonstrating how their actions injured you emotionally. This person could range from children complaining about not being able to do events they used to enjoy previously to a potential loss of wages due to their anxiety, adult P.T.S.D., etc.
  1. Property damage photos: While pictures or videos alone might not be able to demonstrate qualitative evidence of emotional distress, they can support victims’ claims for compensation for the stress they endured due to an accident.
  1. Expert opinions: Experts like counselors and psychologists who have conducted assessments or counseling following incidents brought on by misconduct or negligence frequently testify during bench trials and in front of jurors.

Calculating Compensation For Emotional Distress

These types of claims are expected to cover medical expenses related to physical trauma alone and resources spent for the above-mentioned reasons. You can seek compensation for this strain through two legally recognized elements:

  • “Special damages” include out-of-pocket expenses such as doctor’s visits, missed work, or disruptions to one’s quality of life.
  • “General damages” encompass noneconomic losses such as lost pleasure, heightened stress, and discomfort experienced due to the incident.

What Should I Do If I Believe I Have A Claim?

If you believe you have a claim for emotional distress impacting your day-to-day life due to decisions made without reasonable ground, seeking legal counsel is crucial. Explain the events leading to the emotional distress and provide any gathered evidence. Organizing relevant information will support your claim. Reach out to lawyers or law firms specializing in personal injury cases, as they can offer step-by-step guidance throughout the litigation process, making it a more manageable experience for you.


People can experience a variety of suffering, whether it is due to auto accidents, sudden illnesses, or personal negligence, which can result in emotional distress and potential trials. If you find yourself emotionally traumatized due to another’s misconduct, seeking legal counsel from experienced law firms specializing in personal injury litigation becomes paramount. These skilled counselors will carefully assess your case’s circumstances and determine if compensation through trials is warranted, diligently preparing the litigation process until the most favorable settlement is achieved. 

Remember, if you have experienced emotional turmoil resulting from incidents that violated your rights, you have every right to seek compensatory rewards for the periods of grief and stress. By seeking the support of dedicated legal professionals, you can assert your rights and work towards finding the closure and justice you deserve.

About the author


Steven Ly

Steven Ly is the Startup Program and Events Manager at TheNextHint Inc. She recruits rockstar startups for all TC events including Disrupt, meetups, Sessions, and more both domestically and internationally. Previously, she helped produce Dreamforce with Salesforce and Next '17 with Google. Prior to that, she was on the advertising teams at both Facebook and AdRoll, helping support advertisers in North America and helped grow those brands globally. Outside of work, Priya enjoys Flywheel, tacos, the 49ers, and adventuring around the globe.

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