What is Emotional Distress or Emotional Compensation?

Posted on October 21, 2021 at 10:40 AM by The Biker Lawyers

October is Emotional Wellness Month. In honor of this, we wanted to do an article to bring awareness to a subcategory of “Pain and Suffering” that most people don’t consider when thinking about personal injury.

What is Emotional Compensation?

Personal injury law is complex. There are a variety of different types of injuries that can result in emotional distress, ranging from minor to moderate to severe. The severity of your emotional distress will depend on a number of factors, which we will discuss later in this article.

Emotional distress is a subcategory of pain and suffering damages. “Pain and Suffering” is one of six common damage categories for personal injuries. There isn’t a simple formula or rule to determine compensation for emotional distress. An experienced personal injury lawyer near you can help.
In a personal injury lawsuit, emotional distress is an aspect of pain and suffering.

Does personal injury include emotional distress?


Yes. Mental pain and suffering include emotional distress as part of the damages category for personal injury.

Your emotional and mental distress qualifies for compensation in many personal injury lawsuits.

How do you prove emotional pain and suffering?

What is emotional distress and how do you prove it in the courtroom? Is the dollar amount going to be a certain dollar amount?

Medical evidence combined with testimony from friends and family, along with changes in your life are good starting points for proving emotional pain and suffering.

The medical evidence of physical injury, treatment with mental health professionals, testimony from friends and family, and changes in a person’s daily life are all examples of what can be used to prove emotional pain and suffering. No person can truly walk in the shoes of another, but the people around us, and the circumstances that lead to emotional pain must all be taken into account.

What kind of damages are emotional distress considered?


Emotional distress damages are compensation for emotional pain and suffering caused by an accident or injury.

This can include the realization that your life will never be the same again or the emotional pain you experience when a loved one is killed or seriously injured. While emotional distress damages are more commonly awarded for accidents and injuries that result in permanent disability and death, they can also be awarded for non-permanent injuries that result in psychological pain and suffering.

This type of damage is part of many personal injuries. The effects of emotional injuries are pain and suffering damages. For example fear of being in traffic after suffering a traffic-related injury. It is important to understand that emotional distress includes both mental and physical suffering. The mental pain and suffering caused by emotional distress can include any of the following and more.

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Sleeplessness
  • Headaches
  • Post-traumatic Stress (PTS or PTSD)

Emotional distress can also include other symptoms such as being easily startled or feeling unable to control one’s emotions.

These damages can be awarded in personal injury cases. In other words, if you are in a car accident and suffer emotional distress, then you could receive compensation for that pain and suffering. Again, there is no formula, equation, or simple rule to determine the amount of money it takes to fairly compensate a person for pain and suffering.

How much compensation can you get for emotional distress?

To consider the complexity of considerations, let’s look at 8 common questions that factor into the process of determining compensation.

  1. What kind of pain are/were you in?
  2. From what sort of injury?
  3. How long did the pain last?
  4. Is there still pain?
  5. Will the pain go away, or not?
  6. How does the pain change a specific person’s life?
  7. Is it physical pain, emotional pain, or both?
  8. Where and how is the pain experienced? 

An experienced personal injury lawyer is in the best position to make an accurate analysis for the fair compensation of pain and suffering. The other driver’s insurance company may lead you to believe they know the correct value to place on pain and suffering, but only an experienced personal injury lawyer working for you can be trusted to predict how much a jury is likely to award under a given set of circumstances.

How much can you claim for emotional distress?

Every case is unique. An expert in personal injury can help you figure out how much money your emotional distress is worth.

Again, it is a subcategory of mental pain and suffering damages.  Different injuries can cause different emotional distress for different people.  Who you are, what’s important in your life, and what you do with your time can all be affected by emotional distress.  It is important to consult an expert in personal injury to figure out what compensation is fair for the negative changes to your emotional well-being.

How can you observe Emotional Wellness Month?

We started this article by highlighting that October is Emotional Wellness Month. If you know someone who struggles with emotional wellness show your support in the following ways:

  1. Reach out to those you suspect may be stressed, including friends and co-workers, and offer to lend an ear or see how you can help reduce their stress.
  2. Show your support with the hashtag #EmotionalWellnessMonth on social media.
  3. Set goals to reduce stress in your own life including identifying what they are and how to reduce/remove them.
  4. Consider your physical health. Mental health can have a major impact on physical health and vise versa.
  5. Take a screenless time-out. Read a book, take a walk, go for a swim, or mediate to clear your mind. Even a short 20-minute break can make a huge difference.

Have you suffered emotional distress as a result of your accident?

Damages for emotional pain and suffering is an eligible category for most personal injury cases. If you’re looking for an experienced lawyer who understands what you’ve been through, what you’re going through, and the law, call The Biker Lawyers at (877) 209-9452. We can help you get the compensation you deserve.

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