For most accident victims, suing for emotional distress can be a very unclear topic.
Typically in personal injury settlements cases the process of calculating physical pain and suffering is pretty straightforward.
However, how do evaluate your emotional pain? How does your emotional turmoil factor into getting your final accident claim amount?
In this article, we’ll help you navigate this part of claims process and ultimately help you maximize your claim.
We will cover…
What is emotional distress?
What are the symptoms of emotional distress?
An example of emotional distress in car accident
How do you prove emotional distress in a personal injury claim?
What is the value of emotional distress in an accident claim?
Let’s get started….
We all know what this phrase means at face value, but what is the legal definition?
The widely held legal definition of emotional distress is:
An increasingly common basis for a claim of damages for injury due to the negligence or intentional acts of another. 
Showing negligence is relatively easy when you can prove the other party is at fault.
In most accident claims if you want to receive compensation for your emotional pain and suffering you must also demonstrate some form of physical injuries as well. (Although as usual there are quite a few exceptions to this rule.)
In terms auto accidents, emotional distress claims usually only crop up if the accident was serious and substantial injuries occurred.
Many insurance adjusters are dismissive of emotional distress and see it as a ploy.
However for many car accident victims the emotional distress can be all too real.
Every person is wired a little bit differently and as such will respond to trauma differently. Below are listed some common symptoms of emotional distress .
Insurance companies tend to think in terms of rigid definition. So if you’re discussing emotional distress with an adjuster be sure to frame things around of one of these categories.
As you can see in this example, John experienced both physical and emotional pain and suffering after his car accident.
I’m sure as you read this example you felt some empathy for John. Why?
Because you were able to see the full spectrum of how his accident affected him both physically and emotionally. You get a clearer picture of how John’s quality of life was affected.
At the end of the day, the point of a car accident claim is to somehow compensate you for ALL of your pain and suffering.
If you are able to vividly describe how the injuries have affected you, this increases your chances of getting a fair settlement.
Emotional pain is probably the hardest type of injury to prove. While the suffering can be as great, if not greater, than typical “physical” injuries, accident victims can have a hard time proving they are entitled to damages.
Here are some ways you can tangibly support your claim:
Using the legal dictionary we see that: 
Evidentiary problems include the fact that such distress is easily feigned or exaggerated, and professional testimony by a therapist or psychiatrist may be required to validate the existence and depth of the distress and place a dollar value upon it.
So make sure you document and clearly detail your problem thus establishing your case for compensation.
Claims for emotional injuries do not generally play a huge role in determining the amount an injured person will receive.
Minor claims of anguish or emotional distress simply allow the injured person to be humanized. That is for the insurance company to acknowledge (monetarily) that the injured person is sentient and can suffer “mental” as well as “physical” pain.
If your claim is bigger and the emotional distress more severe, the odds are pretty good there will be an attorney involved. In this case, an attorney can help you place appropriate amount to your demand.
If you’re trying to sue for emotional distress as the result of an accident you’ll want to keep a few things in mind:
-Be wary of symptoms of anxiety, depression, anger and sleep disturbance (among others)
-Know that although difficult, it’s not impossible to prove emotional distress, it all comes down to documentation
-Minor emotional distress claims are usually not worth significant damages, but more serious accidents can be, consult with an attorney if in doubt
Although I feel this isn’t necessary for the majority of the people, I would like remind you to always remain honest when suing for emotional distress.
Unfortunately, many people abuse the system and use emotional pain as a way to inflate the value of their accident claim. It’s a sad truth that groups all people who actually suffer serious and legitimate emotional trauma with the scam artists.
Some people may misinterpret this article but I wanted to be clear that our goal is to NOT teach you how to scam the insurance company.
It is to help you identify :
a)Does your emotional distress qualify as pain and suffering in accident claims?
b)If so, how can you actually prove it in order to receive fair compensation.
Hopefully, you now have a clearer sense of how to evaluate your own emotional pain and suffering and how it can impact your final settlement amount.
 Legal Dictionary
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