Can I or Should I Sue for Emotional Distress?

I have seen it countless times. A person is injured in some type of accident and in addition to physical injuries, they go through a bout of depression or have some level of anxiety that they just cannot shake, which is perfectly normal. A lawyer advises them that under Pennsylvania law in addition to damages for their physical injuries they can recover damages for what is called “emotional distress”. They file a Complaint and request the damages. Sounds simple right? Not necessarily.

First and foremost, Pennsylvania Law is fairly stringent with regard to what sorts of emotional distress actually warrants monetary damages. But let us assume you are able to clear those initial legal hurdles and pursue your claim for emotional distress. One of the first things that the insurance company and their lawyers are going to do in any physical injury claim is request your medical records. By raising a claim for emotional distress or psychological injury you have now made not only your medical records for your physical condition relevant but also the medical records that show your psychological condition. That means you will be asked about every time you may have told your family doctor that you were depressed for whatever reason or that you were feeling anxious about something. More importantly, any psychological treatment you received prior to the accident, such as counseling or medications will become relevant.

I’m not saying these things to scare you. I am saying them to point out the importance of having a well thought out strategy to your personal injury claim. Throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks is not a good strategy. You can forego making a formal request for emotional distress damages but still highlight the emotional and psychological pain that you have experienced as part of your claim for physical damages. That strategy will alleviate the need for you to jump over the legal hurdles involved in bringing an emotional distress claim and without exposing yourself to unnecessary probing by the insurance company and its lawyers.

If you have been involved in an accident and are suffering from psychological as well as physical injury you need an attorney that can formulate the right strategy to help you recover damages while simultaneously protecting your privacy. You need Mobilio Law. Call or email me today for a free no obligation case evaluation.