Emotional Distress Claims in Personal Injury Cases: What They Are and How They Work

You probably know that you’re eligible to file a claim if you’re hurt in an accident and someone else is to blame. But these claims are not limited to just physical injuries. There is another component of personal injury compensation that focuses on the mental and psychological pain you can experience in the aftermath of an accident: emotional distress.

What is Emotional Distress?

Sometimes referred to as non-economic damage or mental anguish, emotional distress describes the psychological pain that a person suffers as the result of personal injury. These damages can present themselves in a variety of different forms, including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and even suicidal thoughts. Emotional distress is a little harder to measure than physical injury, since it’s not always visible or easy to quantify, but that doesn’t make it any less real or debilitating.

How Do Emotional Distress Claims Work in Maryland?

If you’ve suffered an injury in Baltimore or elsewhere in Maryland and you want to file a claim for emotional distress, you will need to be able to prove that your mental pain can be measured in some tangible way. Typically, this means a diagnosis from a medical professional, a prescription for medication or documented treatment (therapy sessions, for example).

How Do I Know if I Have a Case? 

Every situation is different, and you should consult an experienced personal injury lawyer to determine your options when filing a claim for emotional distress. At a high level, however, you need to be able to prove that your emotional distress is a direct result of your injury and is negatively impacting your life. If your accident is serious enough that you need medical treatment for physical injuries, chances are you can make a case for mental anguish, given that physical pain often leads to psychological distress (and can potentially affect your ability to work – which in turn leads to loss of income and further emotional upset).

How Much Can I Receive for Emotional Distress in Maryland?

Many states, including Maryland, place a limit on how much you can receive as part of your claim for non-economic damages. As of October 2022, the cap for emotional distress damages in Maryland is $920,000 (note that this is for personal injury cases that don’t involve wrongful death).

I’m Ready to File a Claim. What’s My Next Step?

Talk to an attorney who is experienced in managing emotional distress claims. This person will have the knowledge and expertise to guide you through the process, from advising you on how to document your emotions to gathering witnesses for testimony, if necessary.

If you’ve suffered a personal injury and you are considering filing an emotional distress claim, contact the Law Offices of Nicholas Parr in Baltimore, MD today to schedule your free consultation. We don’t receive a fee unless we win.