Can You Sue for Emotional Distress in Tennessee?

Can You Sue for Emotional Distress in Tennessee?After being involved in an accident, you may realize that the consequences affect more than just your physical body and property. In fact, many accident victims suffer very serious bodily injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries or broken bones. However, they may soon start to develop mental or emotional distress, which can also severely impact their day-to-day life in various ways.

The good news is that the state of Tennessee does allow individuals to sue for financial compensation for their emotional distress. However, you must meet specific criteria in order to have a chance of winning a claim. For example, you must have significant proof that your emotional distress was a direct cause of your accident.

What is emotional distress?

Emotional distress is defined by Cornell Law School as “mental suffering as an emotional response to an experience that arises from the effect or memory of a particular event, occurrence, pattern of events or condition.” Many people develop emotional distress after being in a car accident, truck accident, motorcycle accident, construction accident, slip and fall accident, or any other type of traumatic or devastating accident. Most of the time, individuals who have emotional distress will have temporary or long-term symptoms, such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Fear
  • Anger
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Sadness
  • Frustration
  • Stress
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Feeling humiliated
  • Feeling defeated or useless
  • Panic attacks
  • Insomnia
  • Phobias

How do I prove emotional distress?

When it comes to proving your emotional distress, there are a few different ways that your lawyer may recommend doing this, including:

  • Showing documentation, paperwork, and other information regarding your emotional and mental well-being: These are typically notes or documents from a psychologist, doctor, or counselor regarding your emotional, mental, and physical well-being.
  • Using evidence of your physical injuries to support your emotional distress claim: Showing how serious your bodily injuries are may be able to help you support your emotional distress claim. For instance, you can show how your arm was amputated or became disfigured in the accident, which caused severe emotional distress.
  • Evaluating and explaining the ways that you have been mentally and emotionally impacted by the accident: You can explain and show evidence of losing sleep, being humiliated, being afraid to do the activities you used to enjoy, and more.
  • Asking witnesses to provide testimonies about your emotional distress: You can also ask your friends, family members, caregivers, doctors, counselors, classmates, or co-workers to give testimonies about your emotional distress. They can explain how they have seen the effects of the accident and your subsequent emotional distress disrupt your daily life.

Is it worth it to sue for emotional distress?

After learning about needing to provide significant proof to receive compensation for emotional distress, you may be curious to know if it is worth it to sue for emotional distress. The answer to this question is yes; it is worth it if you have losses related to your emotional distress. For example, if your physician recommends that you continue seeing a psychologist or counselor for an extended period of time to possibly overcome your emotional distress symptoms, you may need assistance paying for these expenses. It is likely a good idea to sue for emotional distress to get financial help from the person who caused your accident.

How much compensation can you receive for emotional distress?

Each individual’s case is unique and different. Therefore, there is no set amount of compensation that you may receive for emotional distress. Instead, your Nashville personal injury attorney will work with you to determine your losses and seek guidance from accountants and other professionals who know how to put a value on emotional distress. Most of the time, these professionals will look at these factors when determining how much compensation you may receive for your emotional distress:

  • How serious your emotional distress is
  • How much your emotional distress has affected your life and well-being
  • What expenses and costs you have accrued due to your emotional distress

Some people who recover compensation for their emotional distress receive thousands of dollars, while others receive lower amounts. The more evidence you have to accompany your claim, the higher your chances of securing more compensation.

The steps to suing for emotional distress in Nashville

There are a few different steps that you will need to follow and complete in order to successfully sue for emotional distress, including:

  • Keep track of your emotional distress: Once you begin noticing signs of emotional distress, you should start keeping track of your symptoms. This means that you should write in a journal or notebook what you are experiencing and how often. When you start getting professional help for your distress, you should also keep your documentation, notes, information, bills, and records somewhere safe to back up your case.
  • Consult and hire a lawyer: One of the most important steps in this process is consulting with and hiring a lawyer to represent you. Your lawyer will take the time to listen to your experience, look over your evidence, and help you take legal action against the defendant.
  • File a lawsuit: Next, your attorney will file an emotional distress lawsuit on your behalf against the responsible parties. This shows that you are seeking financial compensation for your emotional distress.
  • Prepare for and attend trial: Your lawyer will help you prepare for trial. Sometimes, the defendant may offer you a settlement to avoid a trial hearing, which your attorney will review and determine if it is accurate and fair for everything you have been through. If you decide to pursue a court trial hearing instead of taking the settlement offer, the judge or jury will hear both sides of the story and decide what type of compensation should be awarded.

If you have any questions or concerns about suing for emotional distress in Nashville, the personal injury attorneys from Rocky McElhaney Law Firm are ready and available to assist you. Our team will help you navigate this type of lawsuit as well as the obstacles and challenges that may arise along the way. We know that your mental health is very important, which is why we will do all that we can to prove your emotional suffering and secure fair compensation to cover your losses. Call our office or complete our contact form to schedule your free case evaluation in Nashville, Hendersonville, or Clarksville today.