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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger II

Is Emotional Distress Considered a Personal Injury in Ohio? Read This and Find Out.

Usually, in a personal injury case, a lot of focus is on the physical injuries sustained by the victims without giving enough consideration to how the injury will affect them in other ways.


Luckily, Ohio law recognizes that emotional distress is real and affects personal injury victims in very serious ways.


As such, with a good personal injury lawyer in Cincinnati by their side, victims can be awarded large settlements that include a portion for damages as a result of emotional distress.


However, proving pain and suffering, or any form of psychological trauma in personal injury cases, is one of the most difficult parts of the lawsuit because it is very difficult to quantify.


It is in such situations, where the knowledge and experience of the legal team are severely tested, that the lawyers of Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys will shine!


Ohio victims seeking financial compensation should call the law offices at +1 833-692-5038 and ask for a free consultation. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys also has information on what an average car accident settlements in Ohio is.


How Is Emotional Distress Defined?

How Is Emotional Distress Defined?


In a personal injury claim, emotional distress can best be described as a form of mental pain or anguish that usually takes a wide variety of forms.


Unlike a physical injury, which is usually easier to see, the symptoms of emotional distress may be hidden, even though the victim will be suffering greatly.


Emotional distress requires treatment just like all other types of personal injuries, and if left unattended, the victim may suffer in their quality of life, mental well-being, and stability of their relationships.


Since getting treated for emotional distress will incur medical bills and even lost wages if the victim is unable to work, the state of Ohio recognizes mental distress as a legitimate injury that warrants compensation in a personal injury case.


Examples of Emotional Distress


As mentioned earlier, emotional distress can take many different forms. The proper diagnosis of the type of pain and suffering that a victim is experiencing may require an expert opinion.


These are some of the common types of emotional distress seen in personal injury cases:

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

  • Loss of sleep

  • Psychological trauma

  • Diminished quality of life

  • Embarrassment/humiliation

  • Cognitive changes (head injury)

  • Emotional anguish

  • Depression

How to Document Emotional Distress


Since it is so difficult to prove emotional distress, a personal injury lawyer will need all the help they can get to show that their client has a valid case.


Proper documentation is, therefore, very important, and the best way to get that is by seeking professional help.


This can be done in conjunction with the treatment for other physical injuries or the victim can find a qualified psychologist to give their expert opinion in court.


When mental anguish can be diagnosed and labeled, it becomes a legitimate mental health issue that the courts will have to take into consideration when awarding damages.


Common Injuries in a Personal Injury Lawsuit


Usually, pain and suffering are associated with the types of injuries that the victim suffers and how they affect their quality of life.


The following are some of the most common types of injuries in a personal injury case:

  • Burns

  • Broken bones

  • Amputations

  • Disfigurement

  • Loss of cognitive and motor functions

  • Traumatic brain injuries

  • Internal injuries

Types of Pain and Suffering


When seeking compensation for financial losses caused by pain and suffering, it is important to define what kind of emotional distress the victim is suffering from.


There are two types of pain and suffering, which are:


Physical Pain and Suffering


This is the pain the victim experiences after being injured as a result of someone else's negligence. It also includes the pain the victim will suffer during recovery and, in some cases, for the rest of their lives.


Mental Pain and Suffering


Mental pain and suffering refer to the negative emotional distress that the victim experiences due to the severity of their injuries and their effect on their life and relationships. This type of pain and suffering can take the form of anxiety, stress, depression, worry, shock, humiliation, or grief.


Evidence of Pain and Suffering


Proving the existence of a negative emotion or another form of non-physical pain and suffering is not easy, but can be done with the right supporting evidence.


Usually, it will take a combination of physical evidence, such as:

  • Police reports

  • A report from the victim’s employer regarding time off work

  • Medical records

  • Prescription records

  • Medical bills

  • Receipts for over-the-counter medications

  • Photos of the sustained injuries

  • Psychological evaluation reports

Victims Can Sue for Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress


In most personal injury cases in Ohio, victims sue for negligent infliction of emotional distress, which happens when the injury was unintentional.


However, if the victim feels that the defendant inflicted the personal injury on purpose or in a malicious way, they can ask their personal injury lawyer to sue for intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Suing for intentional infliction of emotional distress is difficult and time-consuming. It is, however, possible with enough evidence to support it, such as witness statements or video footage.


Determining Pain and Suffering Costs


If a victim suffers just a little bit of pain and suffering, they may find it difficult to be awarded any compensation for it in court. This is why a personal injury lawyer needs to be able to calculate the costs associated with pain and suffering and bring these up in court.


Lawyers will have to consider the medical bills associated with the treatment of the pain and suffering, as well as the lost wages that the victim suffered due to not being able to go back to work.


How a Lawyer Can Help

How a Lawyer Can Help


When considering suing for pain and suffering, victims must remember that the statute of limitations in Ohio for personal injury cases is two years. Therefore, they need to file their claim in time.


A lawyer can help to expedite the process by:

  • Gathering evidence

  • Offering legal advice

  • Providing legal representation

  • Calculating emotional damages

  • Winning maximum damages for their clients


Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys Can Handle Any Personal Injury Claim


Is emotional distress considered a personal injury in Ohio? Yes, it is. Medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and other types of economic damages are not the only forms of monetary damages that a victim can be awarded in an Ohio court. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can explain how to calculate personal injury damages in Ohio.


With a good lawyer, compensation can also be given for pain and suffering. Victims who have suffered emotional distress can call Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys today, and explore their options for seeking fair compensation.

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