It may seem counterintuitive to file a personal injury claim in Texas if you do not have any personal injuries. If you consider the other potential ramifications of an accident, however, such as property damages, lost wages and emotional distress, you will understand how some clients can file claims without physical injuries. It may be possible to bring a claim to damages if you were in an accident that did not physically injure you. Consult with a Dallas personal injury attorney for more information about your specific case.
Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress Suit in Texas
Emotional distress is common damage sought during personal injury claims in Texas. It refers to damages other than a physical injury that arose from a traumatic accident. Living through or witnessing an accident such as a car crash could inflict many nonphysical injuries on a victim. The defendant at fault for causing the accident may be legally responsible for a victim’s emotional distress in Texas even if the victim did not have a physical injury.
- Mental anguish
- Psychological trauma
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Lost quality of life
- Diminished enjoyment of life
- Loss of someone’s love or companionship
- Grief or bereavement
If someone was negligent, reckless, or malicious in causing an accident that gave you emotional injuries or distress, that person may owe you compensation. Although most personal injury claims in Texas involve physical injuries as well as emotional distress, some claimants can recover mental anguish damages without physical injuries. If you lost a loved one in an accident, for example, you could seek damages for your emotional distress through a wrongful death lawsuit.
How to Prove Emotional Distress
If you wish to bring a claim for your emotional injuries alone, you will need to prove that the defendant negligently or intentionally caused your emotional distress. Hiring a personal injury lawyer could help you with this burden of proof. Your attorney will know what elements are necessary to prove to obtain compensation for emotional distress, as well as what evidence to gather on your behalf.
In a claim for emotional distress alone in Texas, it is not enough to prove the defendant was negligent. You or your lawyer will need to prove that the defendant’s actions were particularly egregious. You must prove the defendant guilty of particularly outrageous or horrific behaviors to qualify for emotional distress damages alone in Texas. Additionally, if another tort applies to your claim, such as harassment, you may only be able to recover under that claim. In other words, you cannot file a separate emotional distress claim in addition to your harassment claim.
Although it can be difficult to fulfill the increased burden of proof during a claim only for emotional distress, it is possible. Claimants in Texas have and do successfully obtain compensation for claims that do not involve physical injuries. Evidence that could help a plaintiff prove this type of case include psychological evaluation records, letters from therapists, eyewitness reports and testimony from mental health experts. A lawyer could help you identify sources of evidence for your particular emotional distress claim.
Contact a Lawyer About an Emotional Distress Claim
In general, hiring a personal injury attorney could increase your odds of having a successful emotional distress claim in Texas. An attorney can let you know if you qualify to bring this type of claim, as well as what it will take to win compensation. Then, your lawyer can take over the legal process on your behalf. A lawyer could also be an asset if you wish to file a claim for other damages not related to physical injuries, such as lost wages from having to miss time at work or property damage repairs. Contact an attorney as soon as possible if you suffered emotional injuries in an accident in Texas.