In every personal injury claim, people ask if they can receive compensation for the emotional suffering they endured. There is not a simple yes or no answer. Many personal injury cases handled by lawyers, such as Cohen & Jaffe do result in awards for pain and suffering. However, many factors are involved and certain criteria must be met. Let's look at them here.

In Legal Terms, What Constitutes Emotional Distress?

Emotional distress falls under the legal category of pain and suffering. Also included in this category are:

* Mental anguish
* Disfigurement
* Humiliation
* Defamation
* Loss of companionship or a family member
* Grief
* Depression
* Fear
* Insomnia
* Worry
* Serious inconvenience
* Loss of the enjoyment of life

These experiences can seriously affect the health of the victim. Prolonged insomnia or depression can lead to hospitalization. Profound grief, worry, fear and stress can lead to high blood pressure and ulcers (

Losses from these experiences are real but do not come with actual money amounts, as do medical bills, lost wages and physical therapy sessions. Nevertheless, the court recognizes emotional distress as a loss sustained by the victim and will often award monetary compensation if all legal criteria are met.

When Can I Sue for Emotional Distress?

If emotion stress is a direct result of the injury - or if the injury itself is emotional damage - a lawsuit can include a claim for a money amount to compensate the victim. This amount is also referred to as the compensatory or non-economic damages and will be placed in the general damages portion of the lawsuit.

It is common for a personal injury lawsuit to include a claim for pain and suffering ( in addition to the amount demanded for actual monetary losses.

The case must show the insurance company, judge or jury that the victim has endured or is enduring emotional and psychological trauma due to the injury.

How Do I Prove that I am in Emotional Distress or Suffering Mental Anguish?

The courts may require a high level of proof before awarding money for pain and suffering damages.

Some examples of proof of emotional distress may include:

* Proof that you began receiving professional help for a mental or emotional issues after the injury
* Prescriptions for depression or insomnia
* A serious facial scar that has resulted in constant embarrassment and feelings of humiliation
* Sorrow and hardship from the death of a family member
* Photographs of the suffering victim
* Journal entries that describe the length and degree of emotional pain
* Documentation and testimonies from those who have witness the emotional distress

The case may need to prove that the injury or death was caused by a willful and intentional act or was a negligent act on the part of the defendant ( Ask a lawyer in your state about this point.

How Much Money Can I Get for My Emotional Suffering?

It's impossible to put a money amount on the suffering a person endures and the adverse health effects that can result, so the law allows a certain amount of discretion when calculating the amount of a pain and suffering award.

It some cases, it depends on the amount demanded in the actual damages portion of the complaint. Non-economic damages, such as emotional distress, can be calculated by percentage or multiplier of the main claim amount for actual damages.

Alternatively, a lawyer may look at the number of days the person suffered with emotional distress, if in fact it has ended. He may take the figure of $100 a day, multiply it by the number of days that the victim endured emotional distress and put that figure into the general section of the claim for damages.

A rule of thumb may be to take the per-day calculation and add to it any additional or extraordinary specifics. For example, if a person suffered with insomnia for 150 days and has a permanent scar on her face, the two figures could be added together to give a reasonable amount ( to demand in a claim.

Most states have laws that impose caps on the amount of money a victim can be awarded for emotional distress that stems from a medical malpractice suit. In these states, a judge or jury cannot exceed this amount, even if they believe it is warranted.

In addition, states have statutes of limitations that clearly outline how much time a victim has to file a lawsuit in a particular matter. If the suit is filed past the statute of limitations deadline, the case will not be heard no matter how severe the emotional distress may be.

Furthermore, an insurance company, judge or jury can deny the full amount demanded for non-economic suffering, even if they award the full amount for actual costs.

So as you can see, it's difficult to predict whether a victim will be monetarily compensated for emotional and psychological pain or how much the award will be. If you believe you deserve to receive this type of award, be sure to employ a lawyer who has a good track record of winning non-economic decisions for his clients.

Proving pain and suffering is necessary to receiving this type of monetary award as part of your lawsuit. If you have suffered emotional distress as a result of a personal injury or medical malpractice, discuss the details of your situation with a lawyer who handles these types of cases.

Author's Bio: 

Gaurav Kumar has been a blogger and digital marketer, one of the fastest growing custom design crowdsourcing platforms. Over the years, he has been helping small businesses and startups improve website design and SEO strategy, content marketing and user experience.You can engage with him on Twitter here @digitalmid.