How To Prove Emotional Distress
Advice From a Personal Injury Attorney in Washington, DC
It is important to meet with a professional personal injury attorney in Washington, DC to learn how to prove emotional distress after a car accident or other injury. Medical claims are generally easy to prove. Medical records, x-rays, scars, and reports of surgery are clear indications of the injuries that have occurred. But psychological damages can be just as severe.
States differ on the law and what is required to recover for emotional distress. However, here are some general factors that go into proving emotional distress:
1. Duration of physical maladies – Pain that lasts for an extended period of time, and especially chronic pain and long-lasting injuries may add to your claim of emotional distress. It is helpful to directly connect your mental suffering and anguish to your physical suffering. For example, you may be depressed because you can no longer work or drive due to physical injuries. An experienced personal injury attorney in Washington, DC can help you show duration of physical maladies.
2. Strong medical records – Be sure to get a note from either a psychologist or a physician documenting your ongoing mental distress and anguish related to your accident. In addition, provide records of any treatments you have received.
3. Other physical harm – This includes harm that may result from psychological factors, such as the development of an ulcer, frequent headaches, or inability to sleep.
4. Cause of the incident – The cause of the injury is also something that will be considered. Injuries caused intentionally may merit a greater claim of emotional distress than those that occurred accidentally. Incidents that result in no or only minor physical injuries are less likely to cause emotional distress. Contact your personal injury attorney for more information on how the cause of the incident can affect your claim.
5. Intensity of mental distress – The more intense your level of mental distress, the easier it is to prove. If you have received significant, life-altering injuries and have been receiving psychological treatment or can clearly indicate emotional suffering, you will have a stronger claim.
Historically, emotional distress has largely been ignored. More recently, however, courts are considering emotional damages in numerous cases. As with any personal injury situation, it is important to receive treatment as soon as possible and to keep accurate documentation of all treatments you have received. In addition, you must share your emotional trauma with your personal injury attorney so he or she can understand your level of suffering. If it proves too difficult to openly discuss these things, you can have your psychologist write a letter indicating the ways in which you are suffering.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney in Washington, DC
As with all damages, it is important that you seek a free consultation with a personal injury attorney in Washington, DC as soon as possible!