Can I Sue for Emotional Distress in Texas?
When you file a personal injury claim, you can seek compensation for all your injury-related losses. This can include financial costs like medical bills and also possibly compensation for intangible damages like emotional distress. Discuss all possible losses with a personal injury attorney.
Injuries Are Not Always Physical
Post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, insomnia, mental breakdowns, suicidal thoughts, and panic attacks are real injuries that can be caused by the malicious or negligent acts of others. Because injuries are not always physical, Texas allows emotional distress victims to pursue civil actions against the perpetrators of their injuries.
Defining Emotional Distress
Emotional distress is the mental suffering that victims experience in response to an event, such as a sexual assault, a car accident, or the wrongful death of a family member. There are two legal types of emotional distress: intentional infliction and negligent infliction.
- Negligent infliction of emotional distress (NIED) is when someone causes serious emotional distress through negligence—this typically means accidents. NIED is the most common form of emotional distress, and it generally occurs in traffic accidents, premises liability cases, on-the-job injuries, and slip and falls.
- Intentional infliction of emotional distress (IIED) is when someone tries to cause another person to suffer serious emotional distress—it is not an unintended side effect; it is the goal. IIED occurs, for example, in sexual assaults, nursing home abuse, and bullying cases.
Emotional Distress in Children
A child usually processes emotional distress differently than an adult. Children may not display any new or different behaviors after a trauma, but the emotional distress may manifest later in life as a drinking problem or promiscuity. If your child has suffered from emotional distress, you might observe:
- Disruptive behavior
- Sudden drop in their school performance
Valuing your Emotional Distress Case
It’s challenging to know that you might face having some expert witness tear through your medical records or for the opposing counsel to cross-examine your account of the rape in open court. Survivors often ask if it’s worth it based on how much money they might get in the settlement or jury award. These are tough questions that only you can decide. An emotional distress attorney can not guarantee you any settlement at all, more or less give you a specific amount. You can always start by having your lawyer send a demand letter before filing a lawsuit. Many cases settle right then and there with a simple letter from your lawyer.
If you do file suit, these items will be evaluated in deciding the case and calculating an award amount:
- Witness testimony
- Evaluations from therapists or counselors
- Photographs and videos of your accident
- Photographs and videos of your injuries
- Medical records
- Your personal diary (or emails, text messages, social media posts)
Jason Holladay Is a Spring, Texas, Personal Injury Attorney
Jason Holladay, the founder of the Holladay Law Firm, is a Spring, Texas, injury attorney who is passionate about advocating for your rights and ensuring that you get the highest compensation possible. Attorney Holladay has the right knowledge, experience, and training to help you get your life back. Contact the Holladay Law Firm to get started today.