Emotional Distress Damages | The Hidden Injuries of an Auto Accident

Physical injuries sustained during a car accident are usually immediately obvious. However, in many cases there is more damage than meets the eye. Being involved in an auto accident in Las Vegas can have a lasting effect on your mental state. Harris & Harris Injury Lawyers fights to get you the compensation for everything that you deserve, including emotional distress damages.

What is Emotional Distress?

Emotional distress is the mental anguish that can be experienced by a victim(s), or a close relative of the victim(s), resulting directly from a traumatic experience. According to Merriam-Webster dictionary:

“A highly unpleasant emotional reaction (as anguish, humiliation, or fury) which results from another’s conduct and for which damages may be sought.”

What Are Emotional Distress Damages?

If a person has suffered emotional harm or mental anguish resulting directly from an extreme traumatic experience they may be entitled to pursue an emotional distress damages case. A successful case can result in the victim being rewarded compensation. In order to claim a successful emotional distress case, a personal injury lawyer must prove the following:

  •      The mental distress the victim is going through is not temporary
  •      The mental distress is directly caused by the traumatic experience which resulted from the actions (intentionally or negligently) of another person
  •      The mental distress is medically significant to a mental illness

What are the Symptoms of Emotional Distress?

For a person to successfully claim an emotional distress case there must be mental disturbance symptoms present that have resulted directly from the traumatic experience. These symptoms include but are not limited to the following:

  •      Anxiety
  •      Confused Emotions
  •      Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  •      Depression
  •      Rage
  •      Hallucination
  •      Sleep Deprived
  •      Extreme Lethargy
  •      New Onset Phobias
  •      Lack of Focus

All of these symptoms have the potential to seriously hinder a person’s livelihood and would require additional professional help in order to begin the healing process. They can also result in physical symptoms presenting themselves. If you suffer from any of the above, you will need a compassionate injury and accident attorney to get the help you deserve.

What are the Different Types of Emotional Distress Lawsuits?

In Nevada there are two different types of emotional distress lawsuits and in both cases the defendant’s conduct must directly be connected to the distress suffered.

Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress

The defendant’s conduct must be extreme, intolerable, and reckless, while proven beyond reasonable doubt to be intentional. The emotional distress suffered must be severe but does not have to coincide with physical injuries.

Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress

The defendant acted in a negligent manner that caused a traumatic experience, resulting in the victim suffering from emotional distress. The distress must either result from a physical injury or be so egregious that it results in physical symptoms. Most car accident injuries will fall under negligence as the vast majority are unintentional.

Who Can File a Claim for Emotional Distress Damages?

An emotional distress lawsuit can be brought directly by the victim of an accident who has suffered through a negligent act. A lawsuit can also be brought forward by a bystander that witnessed the accident and has close familial ties to the victim. A close friend will not count as there is no marital or blood relationship to the victim.

How does a Lawyer Prove Emotional Distress?

Proving that a plaintiff has suffered emotional distress damages due to a traumatic experience is difficult, but an experienced personal injury lawyer will walk you through what methods are best. There are 5 common ways to prove that emotional distress is present:

Duration of Emotional Distress

It needs to be proven that your mental anguish is not temporary. Proving the ‘length of time’ you have suffered will contribute to a successful lawsuit.

Severity of Mental Anguish

If your mental anguish is particularly intense or manifests itself into physical symptoms you will have a greater chance of succeeding and being compensated for what you deserve. Physical symptoms relating to emotional distress include but are not limited to headaches, neck and back pain, ulcers, and heart palpitations.

Severity of the Traumatic Event

The more severe the traumatic event is, the more likely that emotional disturbances will present themselves.  

Pre-Accident Medical Records

Having pre-accident medical records that show there has been a significant shift in your mental and physical health state can pinpoint the source of your emotional distress.

Professional Medical and Psychological Testimonies

Having a written or verbal testimony from a qualified doctor or psychologist will further strengthen your emotional distress lawsuit.

Are Emotional Distress Laws Different in Nevada?

For negligent infliction of emotional distress lawsuits in Nevada, physical symptoms must be accompanied in the case for damages to be awarded. 

Nevada has a ‘modified comparative fault’ law in place when it comes to lawsuits involving negligence. If the plaintiff was deemed in court to be at 15% fault for the auto accident, they will only be allowed to recoup 85% of the damages that are awarded. Being at fault for 50% or more will prohibit you from being awarded anything. This law was written to tackle the problems of abuse and fraud when it comes to collecting unwarranted compensation.

Emotional Distress Lawyer in Nevada

Emotional distress is a serious injury that should never be taken lightly. If you or a loved one has suffered emotional distress caused by the intentional or negligent actions of a third-party you will need an experienced Nevada personal injury law firm to help you recover what you’re owed. At Harris & Harris Injury Lawyers we will vigorously fight for you. Your initial legal consultation is always free. Call us at (702) 384-1414 now or via our online contact form. We look forward to serving you.