Can I Make a Claim For Emotional Distress?

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When you experience an accident, it’s not just the physical injury that can cause you many problems. Emotional distress and post-traumatic stress disorder are as severe as physical injuries and can be equally debilitating. If you’ve recently experienced a physical injury that’s resulted in mental anguish, you can consider suing for emotional distress.

If your psychological injury results from someone’s negligence or intentional acts, you could be entitled to compensation to cover loss of income, medical expenses and much more.
This article explores whether you can make a personal injury claim for emotional distress in Canada.

What Counts as Emotional Distress?

Emotional distress refers to severe mental or emotional harm directly from physical harm or fear inflicted during an accident. In some cases, this can range from short-term anxiety, panic attacks, low mood to extreme depression, PTSD or chronic anxiety.

Emotional distress can start at any point of your injury or recovery process, such as from the moment you were harmed, or as a result of living and dealing with chronic pain. Your emotional distress can lead to symptoms such as fear in similar environments as your accident, isolation or nightmares that lead to sleep disturbances.

You might experience both short, and long-term distress as a result of car accident, slip and falls or even the improper denial of long-term disability benefits.

What is Claiming for Emotional Distress

Claiming for emotional distress refers to making a personal injury claim for legal action against a party you believe to be responsible for your psychological injury. You can sue for emotional distress if evidence proves that the party was you are suing was negligent or intentionally harmed you.

The law in Canada deems an emotional distress claim as serious as a physical injury due to how debilitating this can be for the victim. However, these claims can be difficult to prove in court.

How Can I Prove Emotional Distress?

Emotional distress is an ‘invisible injury,’ so proving it will take more time and preparation. However, Ristich law can help you prepare a case that clearly outlines your mental anguish and secures the fair compensation you deserve. Here are a few ways we can prove mental health issues during emotional distress claims:

Medical History

One of the best ways to prove the mental injuries sustained due to a third party’s negligence is to assess your medical records. Your medical history provides a detailed glimpse into the extent of your mental illness and attests to the fact that it impacts your daily life.

Your medical records along with a presecription summary will also account for any medication administered for your emotional trauma, attendances at the hospital and therapy sessions for your psychological trauma. Referals to psychiatrists and psychologists will also assist in evaluating the extent of your injuries.

Witness Testimonies

Family members, co-workers and friends can also provide witness testimonies and explain to the court how your emotional suffering impacted your daily life. They testify to any changes in mood, sleep patterns, work performance and other personality changes. These witnesses are often referred to as “collateral sources” and can be an invaluable way in showing a Court how your personality has changed since an accident.

An Expert Medical Testimony

Similar to witness testimony, we can help you secure an expert medical opinion that provides the court with a comprehensive insight into your mental suffering and explains how your psychological injury symptoms led to a substantial decrease in your ability to function normally.

These opinions can come from psychologists and psychiatrists who can expertly evaluate the trust extent of psychological injuries.

A Personal Testimony

Your testimony is as essential as any other when proving emotional distress damages. You’re more qualified than anyone to explain in detail how the events of your injury have impacted your life.

Although your testimony may not be sufficient evidence alone, paired with the opinion of medical professionals and witness statements, a qualified lawyer from Ristich Law can help you secure compensation.

What Compensation Can I Receive For Emotional Distress?

As personal injury claims are civil lawsuits, someone else’s negligence is unlikely to result in criminal proceedings; however, if successful, you could be entitled to compensation. Evaluating your claim is difficult, as your entitlement to compensation will depend on several factors, including the severity of your condition and the extent of the impact your psychological injuries have on your activities of daily living.

Here are some of the things you can be compensated for in personal injury lawsuits:

  • Loss of life enjoyment: Loss of life enjoyment refers to the impact the experience and mental anguish have had on your ability to do the things you used to love. For example, if you used to enjoy rock climbing, but a car accident and resulting trauma at the fault of a third party means you can’t travel to any sites, you might be entitled to compensation.
  • Medical expenses: If you had medical treatment for your emotional distress, such as therapy or medication, you could seek compensation to reimburse this.
  • Loss of income: If you have generalized anxiety or experience symptoms that prevent you from working as a result of the incident, then you can claim based on the loss of income.

Secure the Compensation You Deserve with The Help Of Ristich Law

If you’ve experienced psychological distress due to someone else’s actions, then contact Ristich Law, who can equip you with a professional personal injury lawyer ready to take on your case.

We recognize that psychological injuries are as damaging as physical. If you feel you may be entitled to compensation, contact us for a free consultation today.

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