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Including Emotional Distress Compensation in Your Injury Settlement

Posted on June 25, 2020 in

In Oregon personal injury cases, you can claim compensation for two types of damages: economic and non-economic. Economic damages involve your monetary losses, while non-economic damages refer to your physical and emotional pain and suffering. Emotional pain and suffering, also known as emotional distress, can be difficult to prove in court without the assistance of a Portland personal injury attorney.

Common Types of Emotional Distress

A serious accident can have a severe impact on our psychological health. From car accidents to natural disasters, slip and falls, and acts of violence, experiencing a traumatic event can lead to psychological injuries as well as physical ones. In addition, you may suffer severe psychological damage during the accident itself that can have a long-lasting impact on your emotional health.

Common types of emotional distress in personal injury cases may include the following.

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Anxiety and nervousness
  • Guilt, shame, and humiliation
  • Trouble sleeping, such as insomnia
  • Fear
  • Frustration

Can You Sue for Emotional Distress?

Under Oregon law, you have the right to claim compensation for the emotional pain and suffering you endure during an accident someone else is responsible for. This includes types of emotional distress, although proving your claims in court will require significant work.

It may not be enough to say that you were scared during an accident, or you can’t sleep as a result of the accident. You will need to include detailed, concrete stories and experiences that explain what emotional distress you are suffering, how that emotional distress has had an impact on your life, and why the accident was the cause of the emotional distress.

For example, say that you are in a car accident with a driver who ran through a red light and crashed into the side of your car. The memories associated with the accident are fresh in your mind, and every night, you seem to have a nightmare about the accident. Over time, you suffer from disturbed sleep and eventually, you have a difficult time falling asleep at night. This sleep deprivation affects your job performance and your boss fires you.

This story would be an excellent example of how emotional distress stemming from an accident has had a tangible impact on your daily life activities. Keeping a log of your sleep and wake times, writing down the nightmares or other memories that are keeping you awake, and saving records of your termination would be pieces of evidence you could use to prove the instance of emotional distress.

Even if you can’t save all of this data, being open and honest about the psychological strain the accident caused can also help you gain compensation for emotional distress. For best results, keep a record of concrete post-accident experiences you can reference in your case.

Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress Claims

In many claims, courts treat emotional distress as a side effect of the main accident or injury. However, you do have legal options if the emotional distress is the main injury.

Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress

In Oregon, you can file a claim related to the intentional infliction of emotional distress if your case meets the following criteria.

  • The at-fault party committed an act that constitutes an extraordinary transgression of the bounds of socially tolerable conduct.
  • The at-fault party must have intended to inflict the emotional distress on you.
  • You suffered emotional distress.
  • The at-fault party’s actions are the cause of your emotional distress.

To determine whether you have grounds for this type of litigation, speak to your attorney.

Contact Tillmann Law Today

If you are filing a lawsuit involving emotional distress, you need an attorney on your side. Tillmann Law represents Oregon residents in a number of personal injury practice areas. With millions of dollars in compensation recovered for our clients, you can trust our firm to provide comprehensive, aggressive representation each step of the way.

Contact Tillman Law today to schedule your free consultation and discuss your personal injury claim (503) 272-8986.