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An emotional distress claim by nature is subjective, and it carries a burden – the judge’s and jury’s skepticism. Although serious emotional traumas result in true distress, sometimes a jury may be suspicious of this proper claim because distress can be feigned and exaggerated.
Recent court decisions in many states have done away with the belief that those who suffer emotional distress also need to have an associated physical injury or contact that caused the distress. Now, it is easier to prove emotional distress did occur in cases in which the victim did not sustain physical injury. The change is also more equitable to those who were distressed without physical harm such as with sexual harassment.
The emotional distress claim is used in negligence cases and may require the testimony of a therapist, psychiatrist, or other expert witness. Juries may demonstrate suspicion in instances where an expert witness is paid for their testimony.
These aspects of a case are important to the success of a case and the amount of damages awarded. They require an attorney to be well versed in this area of law, and have the ability to overcome a jury’s doubts while maintaining the highest ethical standards.
An emotional distress attorney can help you: