We are all aware of the charges associated with physical harm done unto a person: assault, battery, and rape. But, what does it mean when a person’s behavior results in more than the cuts, scratches, and bruises? If the actions of another person have left you emotionally scarred, you might be entitled to legal compensation by claiming emotional distress.

Let’s face it—it’s easy to get caught up in an argument or disagreement with someone. At the end of the day, we’re all just human beings trying to get along with one another, and sometimes, our intentions just don’t cut it. There will be someone out there, who eventually says something to hurt your feelings or carries out an action that seems malicious in nature.

While we sympathize with a tough situation or a harsh exchange of words, Bush Law Firm is here to tell you that there has to be more to an emotional distress lawsuit than a hard-to-swallow conversation or interaction. To be considered grounds for a lawsuit, the behavior inflicted upon one person by another must be considered outrageous and extreme, going “beyond all possible bounds of decency.” 

You must demonstrate that ill will was intended in order to cause mental suffering, or the person’s actions indicated a level of reckless indifference. Whatever the case may be, their actions would ultimately lead to severe emotional distress and affect the normalcy of your life.

Unlike being injured physically, which can be easily backed up by physical evidence like x-rays and blood spatter, emotional distress can be trickier to prove in a court of law. There are ways to show that you have suffered from mental anguish, anxiety, depression, or another emotional ailment, however.

For example, the amount of time you have suffered emotional distress is important in proving your claim. While it’s common to experience fear and anxiety immediately following an incident, it’s not-so-common to be affected by these feelings long-term. On-going, documentable behavior is the best way to show it’s a continuous problem for you, whether it’d be trouble sleeping as a result of nightmares or issues with driving because you’re afraid to get behind the wheel again.

The amount of time you’re under duress goes hand-in-hand with the severity of your symptoms, another aspect of emotional distress that is a concrete piece of evidence. It’s not uncommon for emotional distress to manifest as physical symptoms, such as chronic back or neck pain, tension headaches, gastrointestinal problems, or heart palpitations. Not to mention, the mental aspects, like depression or anxiety, surrounding the incident can also take their toll on you mood, lifestyle, and connections with others.

Last, but not least, another excellent way to solidify your emotional distress claim is through the testimony or of a doctor or health care professional. Not only will it prove your allegation and make the need for compensation valid, but it will also serve as the cherry-on-top of an argument made by your attorney.

As for the amount of compensation you’ll receive, you will need to consult the legal professionals at Bush Law Firm to gain a firmer understanding on the outcome. Although it can be a challenge to prove emotional distress, our knowledge and years of experience will aid you in— what feels like — an invisible battle. Don’t hesitate to browse the pages of our website to see how we can assist you!


Renae Pierre

Paralegal, Bush Law Firm