Recovery For The Infliction Of Emotional Distress
When someone suffers an injury as a result of another person’s negligence, the injuries may not always be physical. In some cases, the person may suffer psychologically or suffer emotional distress even when he or she does not sustain any other physical injuries. In many cases, this may leave a person wondering how, or if, they can receive any kind of compensation for the other person’s negligent or even intentional actions, when there are no physical injuries.
Florida courts have a long history of dealing with the issue of when a person may recover for emotional distress. A person who suffers emotional distress can sue the person causing the injury for the negligent or intentional infliction of emotional distress. Generally speaking, it is difficult for a person to recover for emotional distress if they cannot also link the emotional injuries to a physical injury, or show that they were otherwise impacted by the negligent actions of another person. This is referred to as the impact rule.
There are cases in which an injured person may recover for emotional injuries outside of the impact rule, for example in cases involving the intentional infliction of emotional distress. In cases of intentional infliction of emotional distress, the courts look to see if the conduct of the person causing the injury was outrageous and out of the bounds of common decency, or even dangerous. The emotional distress suffered in an intentional infliction of emotional distress claim must also be severe. Customers of a business may be able to sue for the intentional infliction of emotional distress where the company breaches its fiduciary duties to them resulting in losses to the customers.
A person who wishes to sue for emotional distress based on the injuries of another person must have a certain relationship with the injured person. For example, if a mother sees her child get severely injured or killed due to the negligent driving of a drunk driver, and therefore suffers a heart attack, the mother is likely to recover for the emotional injury that lead to her physical manifestation of the heart attack. There are statutes under Florida law, such as the Wrongful Death Act, that allow certain relatives eligible to recover under that law to bring claims based in emotional distress.
Emotional distress and other psychological injuries that do not necessarily manifest in physical ways should nevertheless be treated. No matter what the cause of the emotional distress, an injured person should seek medical treatment as soon as possible after suffering the emotional distress. The person should also track the condition to have a feel of how the incident affects their daily life.
Contact An Experienced Clearwater Personal Injury Attorney
If you or someone you know suffered emotional distress as a result of the negligence of another person, Florida law may allow you to receive some compensation for this even though you do not have physical injuries, depending on the other facts of your case. Contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Roman & Roman, P.A. for a consultation.