How to Prove Emotional Distress
Plaintiffs who file personal injury or intentional tort claims often ask defendants to pay damages for the infliction of emotional distress. Ohio courts make collecting on such claims difficult by following rules that generally require plaintiffs to give personal accounts of their suffering that are corroborated by witnesses and health care professionals.
How A Columbus Attorney Can Help Prove Emotional Distress
An empathetic Columbus, Ohio, emotional distress lawyer can help a plaintiff who develops new or worsened depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, or another mental or behavioral problem following the negligent, reckless, or intentional actions of another clear these evidentiary hurdles.
Proving the existence and extent of emotional distress requires presenting some combination of five types of evidence to a civil court judge or jury.
Five Types Of Evidence To Prove Emotional Distress
Intense emotional suffering
In layperson’s terms, showing this requires answering the question “How badly did the harmful action mess you up?” Being unable to return to work because of lingering fear or loss of trust in other people counts as intense emotional distress, as does falling into a depression so deep that the plaintiff’s marriage and children suffer.
Courts do not set strict time limits on claims of emotional distress, but mental or behavioral problems that last for months or years are the most likely to qualify for compensation.
Physical symptoms of emotional distress
Severe weight loss, self-harm, balding, ulcers, shakes, and tics can stem from emotional stress. Presenting evidence of these problems can do much to convince a judge or jury that mental and behavioral problems occurred.
The connection between the defendant’s actions & the emotional distress
Did the problems develop or grow more severe after the car accident, physical or personal attack, or problem at the defendant business? The severity of the incident may also be taken into account. For instance, being hit at low speed in a parking lot will generally be considered less likely to trigger emotional distress than will getting trapped in a preventable restaurant fire.
Diagnoses from doctors, reports from social workers, and/or testimony from mental health counselors will help a plaintiff make his or her case for compensation for emotional distress.
Finding An Emotional Distress Attorney in Columbus
You can learn more about filing and substantiating claims for emotional distress by speaking with a Columbus, Ohio, emotional distress lawyer at Agee, Clymer, Mitchell and Portman. Schedule an appointment online or call us at (800) 678-3318.