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Is Emotional Distress a Personal Injury?

On Behalf of Christian Ayers
  |     |  

Emotional distress can be considered a personal injury. When one party causes harm to another party, the victim has the right to seek compensation for their losses with a personal injury suit. However, the victim must prove they suffered actual harm. This may be difficult if you are seeking compensation for emotional distress, but an experienced Monroe personal injury attorney can clarify your options for recovering compensation for non-economic damages.

Filing a Personal Injury Claim for Emotional Distress

The objective of a personal injury claim is to hold a defendant accountable for the effects of their negligence or illegal misconduct. To secure compensation for their losses, the plaintiff must prove the full extent of the damages they suffered and establish causation between their damages and the defendant’s actions. This means they must prove the defendant directly caused the harm and it did not occur from any other cause.

In most personal injury claims, some damages are immediately apparent, while others are more difficult to discern. Typically, a personal injury plaintiff has the right to seek compensation for economic and non-economic damages the defendant caused. Economic damages are simpler and include all direct financial losses the plaintiff sustained in the incident. These generally include property damage, medical expenses, and lost wages.

Non-economic damages are more challenging to prove. These are the intangible losses resulting from the defendant’s actions and may seem subjective and open to interpretation. Non-economic damages generally include physical pain, emotional distress, trauma, and diminished enjoyment of life resulting from the defendant’s actions.

It may seem as though these damages would be very difficult to prove and that it would be even harder to assign monetary values to intangible losses such as these. However, it is possible to file a personal injury suit for emotional distress or to include emotional distress as damages in a personal injury claim.

Is emotional distress a personal injury?

Proving Emotional Distress in Your Personal Injury Suit

Your Monroe personal injury lawyer can help gather the evidence you will need to prove that a defendant caused emotional distress, and they will know how to establish a reasonable monetary value for your non-economic damages. To succeed with your claim, you will need to prove the defendant’s negligence or misconduct could foreseeably cause the emotional distress you claim to have experienced.

North Carolina law does not place a limit on pain and suffering compensation in most personal injury claims, and there is no strict formula you must use to calculate pain and suffering in your claim. You have the right to seek whatever amount you believe reflects the severity of the harm done to you. Your Monroe personal injury attorney may use any claimed economic damages as a starting point to calculate a suitable amount and may call expert witnesses to support your claim.

Ultimately, the optimal way to assess the value of any impending personal injury claim in the state is to speak with an experienced attorney as quickly as possible. The sooner you secure legal counsel, the more likely you will be to succeed with all the recovery efforts you attempt. Your attorney will also know how to make a compelling case for compensation for your emotional distress, even if this seems impossible to prove on your own.


Q: How Do I Calculate Pain and Suffering in My Personal Injury Claim?

A: You will have an easier time calculating pain and suffering compensation if you have a Monroe personal injury attorney working with you. There is no specific formula used to determine how much pain and suffering compensation you can seek in your case. You have the right to claim as much as you believe to be reasonable, but you should be prepared to provide evidence that substantiates your claim.

Q: How Long Does It Take to Resolve a Personal Injury Claim?

A: The time your case could require to conclude largely depends on whether you are able to settle it privately with the defendant or if you need to resolve the case through litigation. Settlement may only take a few weeks as long as both parties are willing to negotiate, but if litigation is required, it could take much longer, from several months to even longer than a year in some cases.

Q: Am I Required to Hire a Monroe Personal Injury Lawyer?

A: No, you are not required to hire a Monroe personal injury lawyer; you have the right to manage your case on your own, but you would be unlikely to achieve the same results that an experienced attorney could secure. Your personal injury lawyer can help you meet all the deadlines of your case, uncover every form of compensation you can claim from the defendant, and assist you in maximizing your case award as much as state law allows.

Q: What Happens if I’m Partially at Fault for Causing My Damages?

A: If you are partly at fault for your damages, you cannot claim compensation. If an investigation reveals that a plaintiff shares liability for causing their damages, it will prevent the plaintiff from claiming compensation from the defendant under the contributory negligence rule. North Carolina’s contributory negligence statute upholds that if a plaintiff bears any measure of fault for causing their claimed damages, they cannot seek compensation from any other liable party.

Q: What Are Attorneys’ Fees for a Monroe Personal Injury Lawyer?

A: A Monroe personal injury lawyer, such as the team at Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler, offers contingency fee billing for personal injury cases. This ensures you can secure legal counsel when you need it, regardless of your financial situation. Your attorney takes a percentage of your final award, but only if you win. There is no fee if your attorney is unable to secure compensation for you. So, there is no financial risk in hiring an attorney under a contingency agreement.

Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler has successfully represented many personal injury cases in Monroe, and we are ready to put this experience to work in your case. If you want to learn more about the ways our firm can assist with your recovery from emotional distress, contact us today and schedule a free consultation with a trustworthy Monroe personal injury attorney with your case.