Can You Recover Damages for Emotional Distress?

February 1, 2021 Personal Injury

After an accident, you can suffer from many types of injuries. Many of these injuries are physical, such as broken bones, chronic pain, and disability. Other injuries are psychological, leading to significant emotional distress for the victim.

In Nevada, you have the right to recover compensation for all the damages you suffered in an accident from the liable party—including financial losses, physical injuries, and emotional distress. Emotional distress falls under the non-economic category of damages.

What Is Emotional Distress?

Emotional distress occurs when you experience severe emotional suffering as a result of the accident. While physical harm often contributes to emotional distress, you do not have to experience physical trauma to suffer from this injury. The defendant can intend to inflict emotional distress on you, or you can experience emotional distress due to the defendant’s negligence.

What Types of Damages Can You Collect in Nevada?

Under Nevada law, you can recover two types of compensation: economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages involve the tangible loss of money due to an accident, such as past and future medical expenses, property damage, and disability accommodations. You can also recover compensation for therapy appointments, rehabilitation programs, and lost wages.

Non-economic damages concern the physical and emotional pain that you endured due to the accident, including emotional distress. Non-economic damages may also include the following.

  • Mental anguish
  • Chronic pain
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Disability
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Loss of quality of life
  • Disfigurement

How to Prove Emotional Distress in Nevada Lawsuits

Proving emotional distress can be difficult due to the lack of obvious tangible evidence, such as receipts or invoices. You will need to document and preserve certain pieces of evidence to establish how the accident impacted your mental state.

  • Medical records: Your medical records can help establish your emotional state at the time of the accident. If you saw a therapist or received medication to treat emotional distress after the accident, your medical records can prove that the accident impacted your mental state.
  • Journal entries: Keeping a record of your mental state through the aftermath of your injury can establish emotional distress. Each day, record how you felt physically and emotionally, the treatment you received, and other pertinent information.
  • Physical ailments: Emotional distress can manifest in several ways, including physical symptoms. Constant headaches, digestive problems, sleep problems, and appetite issues can be symptoms of emotional distress. Speak to your physician about these issues and document them in your journal.
  • Testimonies: Your attorney may ask witnesses to testify about your emotional distress if your case goes to trial. Family members, romantic partners, siblings, friends, and co-workers can provide valuable insight on how the accident affected you. Your attorney may also ask your doctor to testify about your emotional distress.

Proving emotional distress can be complex. It can be difficult to establish the presence of emotional distress symptoms and you may face scrutiny from the court, defense attorneys, and insurance companies. You will also need to ensure that all testimonies are consistent, or your case can face credibility issues.

In these situations, you need an experienced Las Vegas accident attorney on your side. Your lawyer will advise on how to establish your right to emotional distress damages, how to navigate the litigation process, and what other forms of compensation you may qualify for. Contact a Las Vegas personal injury attorney as soon as possible to discuss your legal options.