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Understanding Emotional Distress in Work Injury Claims

Published: Jan 03, 2018 in Personal Injury, Workplace accidents

When you are hurt at work because of an outside party’s actions, you may wish to file a legal claim against that person or business. Your claim may be against a person who came into your workplace and caused an accident or was violent. Additionally, it could be against another business your employer works closely with. Whoever the at-fault party is, our Alabama work injury attorneys at Belt, Bruner, & Barnett P.C. can help you recover compensation from them separately from workers’ compensation insurance. We offer a case evaluation free of charge and are ready to help you obtain full compensation for your losses. With offices in Birmingham, Mobile, Huntsville, and Montgomery, our attorneys will quickly travel to investigate your case. Through a third-party claim, we will represent you in pursuing compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, physical pain and suffering, disfigurement, disability and more.

We understand that whether or not a work accident caused you physical injuries, it may have caused you extreme psychological harm. This gives you the right to seek compensation for emotional distress in work injury claims. This specific damage is not available following all workplace accidents, however, it may be a significant part of your experience. If it is, we will strive to prove the extent of the emotional harm the at-fault party caused you and will fight for you to receive the monetary recovery you deserve under the law.

To learn more about filing a claim for emotional distress in a work injury claim, call a work injury lawyer at (205) 933-1500 to schedule a free consultation.

What is Emotional Distress?

Emotional distress encompasses all of the psychological pain and negative emotions you feel after an accident. It includes anger, grief, resentment, disappointment, humiliation, despair, depression, shame, anxiety, and more.

It is a damage separate from pain and suffering. While your pain and suffering is linked directly to your physical injuries, your emotional distress is not. It is a distinct injury that the at-fault party should also compensate you for. It may or may not coincide with a physical injury, and it may or may not manifest itself in physical signs.

Intentional Infliction Emotional Distress

In Alabama, you may seek compensation for emotional distress in two different ways. You may file a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress or you may include emotional distress within your negligence claim. Intentional infliction of emotional distress and a personal injury claim based on negligence are two separate claims.

If you file a lawsuit against another person for intentional infliction of emotional distress, you must prove:

  • The other party acted intentionally
  • Their actions were extreme and outrageous
  • Their actions resulted in serious and severe emotional distress

Proving intentional infliction of emotional distress when you are not also physically injured can be difficult. At Belt, Bruner, & Barnett P.C., we will explain the legal process for an intentional infliction of emotional distress claim and discuss with you how to best prove it. This may require you to seek mental health treatment since a diagnosis and treatment plan, as well as a professional record of your experience, can help establish emotional distress.

Negligence-Based Emotional Distress

After a work-related accident, it is common for your pursuit of emotional distress damages to be part of a personal injury claim based on negligence. In this situation, emotional distress is one of the many damages you want to be compensated for in addition to medical expenses, lost wages, and physical pain and suffering.

In any negligence claim, you must prove that the at-fault party that caused your injuries owed you a duty of care and breached that duty with their reckless behavior. If you can establish negligence, then you may receive compensation for any injuries you can prove you sustained, including psychological harm.

Call the Alabama Work Injury Attorneys with Belt, Bruner, & Barnett P.C. For Help Today

It can be difficult to prove your mental anguish after a work accident. Psychological harm does not directly correspond to physical injuries, and it may not manifest in any physical form. You will have to prove you are suffering in a way others may not be able to see.

Our experienced attorneys at Belt, Bruner, & Barnett P.C. are here to help. We will walk you through a variety of ways to establish your emotional distress, including through your own testimony, observations from loved ones, and a mental health expert’s testimony.

To learn more about emotional distress in a work injury claim, contact us at (205) 933-1500 and schedule a free initial consultation.