We often think about the physical damages that can result from a personal injury accident, but less attention is paid to the psychological toll that these events can cause.
And in some cases, this toll is so severe and so traumatic that a person can file what is known as an ‘intentional infliction of emotional distress’ claim against someone they think is responsible for their condition.
Of course, there some legal standards that a claimant must meet to file this type of claim, because many types of conduct will not fall under the legal requirements necessary for intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Elements Necessary To Prove Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress In Personal Injury Cases
There are always variations in how each state defines intentional infliction when it involves emotional distress, but a claimant must typically prove the following elements:
- Defendant’s Conduct Was Extreme Or Outrageous
- Defendant Acted Recklessly Or Intentionally
- Defendant’s Conduct Directly Caused Claimant’s Emotional Distress, Which Can Also Include Bodily Harm.
You can also file suit against a defendant if his or her conduct was directed at a family member or friend, but also caused emotional trauma, whether or not you witnessed the conduct.
The real challenge with proving an infliction of emotional distress claim is that it is difficult to quantify extreme or outrageous conduct.
For example, there is a lot of conduct that happens on a daily basis that may be insulting or offensive, but doesn’t rise to the level of outrageous or extreme conduct.
And proving that a defendant acted with the intention of causing emotional distress is also a challenge.
For example, if a defendant got angry after receiving proof that his or her spouse was having an affair and reacted by lashing out and destroying someone’s property in a fit of rage, the person who owns the property could prove intentional infliction of emotional distress.
That’s because the defendant reasonably knew that destroying the claimant’s property would likely cause emotional distress, but acted with reckless disregard to that possibility.
Emotional distress can manifest in many ways, including depression and anxiety as well as physical symptoms such as headaches, chest pains and high blood pressure caused by stress.
Finding a Law Firm That Will Fight For You
Many law firms promise that they will do whatever it takes to get you a settlement, but very few actually think about why you want to be compensated. It’s not just about getting paid because you were hurt, it’s also about making sure that people take responsibility for their actions.
If you are looking for a firm that simply sees dollar signs instead of living, breathing human beings, then the team at Kinnaird & Kinnaird, P.C. is not for you. We are known for being passionate about our clients and aggressive when we negotiate. But if you are looking for lawyers who don’t mind getting into a scrap to protect your rights, then give us a call at (719) 520-0003 for a free consultation.