November 17, 2016
Emotional distress can be a difficult thing to prove. By nature, it doesn’t leave a lasting mark, and there is no simple test to prove that it exists. However, there are ways to help prove that an individual is suffering from emotional distress, and may be deserving of compensation. The five methods below can play a huge role in any allegation of the infliction of emotional distress.
Perhaps the best way to prove emotional distress is to have a professional diagnosis. Working with a therapist or counselor to document an individual’s state after a traumatizing event is not only a necessity for health reasons, but is also the best way to show that an individual has taken steps to minimize trauma on his or her own. Anyone who is claiming emotional distress should consider working with a psychologist as an important part of the healing process, and an important step in moving forward with one’s legal claims.
There are often physical symptoms that accompany emotional distress. Issues like ulcers, headaches, weight loss, and insomnia can often be used to prove than an individual has suffered an upsetting trauma. While these issues on their own are not enough to prove that emotional distress has occurred, we can note that many individuals who have suffered major traumas have used these physical ailments to bolster their cases.
A fairly major sign that one has suffered emotional distress is that problems do not go away over time. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, according to the Mayo Clinic, can cause victims of a trauma to relive the incident even after the physical issues are gone. This means that an individual suffering from emotional distress may not be able to “get away” from the problem, even if years have passed. Coupled with therapy, a significant amount of time spent dealing with the aftermath of an incident can help to prove that a person’s issues rise to the level of emotional distress.
Degree of Distress
As inhumane as it might sound, the courts tend to look at severe degrees of emotional distress as more valid or deserving of compensation than minor issues. The more intense the trauma, the more likely it is that the court will think you need some form of compensation. While everyone experiences trauma differently, being able to show that the issue impacts your life in a more aggressive manner is usually a good way to show the court that your claims need to be taken seriously.
Not all causes of emotional distress are created equal. If the cause of your distress was out of the ordinary, especially egregious, or stands out in some way, it is more likely that the court will support your claim. There is a certain line of thought that suggests that people should be able to get over incidents that are a part of everyday life. This does not mean that more common incidents cannot result in emotional distress, of course, but rather that it is more difficult to prove that compensation is necessary.
It’s important to remember that your emotional distress is unique to your case. The methods of proving distress above are simply guidelines, not the final word. If you feel that you are suffering from emotional distress, or that one of the situations above applies to you, do not hesitate to call a Milwaukee WI personal injury attorneytoday to help you decide on your next steps.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Hickey & Turim, S.C. for their insight into emotional distress.