There are two categories of damages in a personal-injury lawsuit: economic and non-economic. Economic damages include medical bills and lost wages. Generally, it is easy to quantify and prove economic damages.
Non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, may be slightly more difficult to prove. Many judges and juries are reluctant to award large sums for emotional distress because it is so subjective. However, if you can prove emotional distress as outlined by the Legal Information Institute, you may be able to recover non-economic damages.
No matter which damages you pursue, it is always important to have a well-structured claim.
An Albuquerque personal-injury attorney from the Law Office of Brian K. Branch can help you gather evidence, construct a strong argument and handle each step of the claims process. To schedule a consultation, call our office at 505-764-9710
In the meantime, here are four factors to prove when claiming for emotional distress
- Provide indisputable evidence that your emotional distress was the result of physical injury.
In most circumstances, you cannot claim emotional distress without a physical injury – even if the incident was traumatizing. If you have evidence of an injury and can prove that it is responsible for your suffering, then you have a stronger case and a higher chance of recovering compensation.
- Prove your emotional trauma with solid evidence.
Juries seldom take emotional distress claims seriously – even if you prepare a perfectly structured argument. They need undeniable evidence to understand the extent of your emotional pain, but you must have suffered mentally or physically as a direct result of it. Psychiatric testimony, expert witnesses or a doctor’s letter can help prove neuroticism, psychosis, migraines, ulcers or depression.
- Prove that your emotional distress was the result of an extreme underlying cause.
In many cases, the effects of traumatic events result in emotional distress. Examples include disfigurement, the death of a loved one, fear for life and irreparable scarring. Providing evidence that the accident caused one of these will strengthen your case. However, the incident would need to trigger a similar response to the same situation in the average person.
- Legitimize emotional distress claims with well-kept documents.
Minute details may determine the success of your claim. If you provide the court with well-documented evidence, you may have a stronger case. In addition to medical records, you should record every feeling, thought and occurrence as they arise. Keep details about every therapist visit, any sleeping issues and performance problems at work.
Although it is difficult to prove emotional distress, recovering these damages may be possible with an organized and well-evidenced claim. Injuries from sudden accidents can be highly traumatic, especially if people die or suffer lifelong consequences. These events are also expensive, and every accident victim is entitled to pursue financial relief and justice.
Call the Law Office of Brian K. Branch at 505-764-9710 to discuss your case with a personal-injury lawyer, and find out if pursuing emotional distress damages is a viable option.