While emotional distress is an element of damage in other personal injury cases, there are separate claims for the infliction of emotional distress by itself. There are two types of these cases: intentional and negligent.
Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress
To recover damages for intentional infliction of emotional distress you must prove:
- Intentional or reckless conduct;
- Conduct so outrageous in character and so extreme in degree as to go beyond all possible bounds of decency and regarded as atrocious and utterly intolerable in a civilized community; and
- The conduct caused emotional distress so severe that no reasonable person should be expected to endure it.
A person need not receive medical/ psychological/ psychiatric treatment to recover for intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress
Negligent infliction of emotional distress requires:
- A negligent act proximately causes severe emotional distress;
- The emotional distress is so severe that no reasonable person could be expected to endure it; and
- The emotional anguish or mental harm must be medically diagnosable and must be of sufficient severity that it is medically significant.
One category of negligent infliction cases involve when a family members sees another family member severely injured or killed. These cases are often called “Bystander claims.”
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Contact Lapin Law Offices for a free initial consultation if you have been suffered emotional distress due to someone’s else conduct.