Whether intentional or through an act of negligence, experiencing emotional distress is as real as a physical injury. While physical injuries can be seen, the internal suffering of our emotions is often hidden from others.
In Mississippi, you can sue for emotional distress but quantifying it can be difficult. You need the guidance and help of a personal injury attorney. The team at Morris Bart Law can help.
Emotional Distress as Defined Under the Law in Mississippi
Emotional distress is one form of psychological suffering. It can be caused by negligence or intent. Emotional trauma is recognized by the court system as one form of non-economic damage.
It is easier to prove mental anguish when it accompanies physical trauma, but there are cases in which it can be recognized alone. Defamation of character or sexual abuse can stand alone in an emotional distress lawsuit.
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Considerations for Filing an Emotional Distress Lawsuit
If your emotional trauma was not accompanied by physical injuries, there are some factors you may want to consider and discuss during an initial consultation with a personal injury lawyer.
Is Your State of Mind Up to It?
When you hire a personal injury lawyer, it can remove a substantial portion of the burden you have been feeling. Your attorney will take care of your legal options and strive to get you a settlement out of court.
In hiring an attorney, you will have to share the causation of your emotional distress with them. For many, this is cathartic, but it may not be easy.
There is a chance, although slim, your case could go to court, and you could be called upon to share your experience. However, that decision is always yours to make. If you feel you are not being offered proper compensation for the suffering you have endured, you may elect to take the case to court.
What Will Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer Cost?
When you first call the Morris Bart offices, you will be offered a free initial consultation. This gives you a chance to meet with your potential attorney. It also allows the attorney to understand your case and its potential legal issues.
If the attorney feels you have a compelling case, and you are comfortable with them, this provides you the opportunity to move forward.
There are no upfront fees in a personal injury case. When you hire your Morris Bart attorney, you agree to them receiving a percentage of the compensation you are awarded for their services.
When did Your Injury Occur?
Mississippi has a statute of limitations for personal injury cases of three years. This means if your trauma is the result of a specific accident or one-time occurrence, you have up to three years from the date of that incident to file a legal claim.
Why You Need a Personal Injury Lawyer’s Help
An experienced personal injury attorney has fought many civil legal cases involving mental trauma as well as physical. They know how to follow the important steps to help you receive compensation for the distress you have been going through.
What your lawyer will need from you is as much documentation as possible. This may include:
- Information regarding the incident from which your emotional distress has arisen
- Medical reports from your doctor or psychologist, if applicable, regarding physical and psychological injuries
- Reports of conditions as indicators of mental trauma such as ulcers, headaches, and cognitive impairment
- Employment and work records
- Personal diary or journal
- Results of electronic health monitoring including sleep habits, blood pressure readings, and heart rate
- Testimony of family, friends, and co-workers as to how your life has been impacted by the incident
Any information you can provide to your attorney will help develop your case.
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Proving Negligence as the Cause of Your Emotional Distress
As previously mentioned, it is much easier to sue for emotional distress when it accompanies physical injuries. But either way, your attorney will have to prove three things:
- That the incident directly caused your emotional trauma
In a car accident, for example, you have documentation of your physical injuries and the emotional trauma induced by them. There are potential accompanying damages such as:
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of consortium
Your legal team will need to examine the accident evidence and prove someone else caused the accident. Furthermore, they will have to show the accident directly led to your injuries. While this can be complex, an experienced car accident attorney can prove your emotional trauma, whether post-traumatic stress or another psychological issue, was a direct result of the accident.
Continue with Your Medical Treatment
When you hire your personal injury attorney, you should continue with your medical treatment as directed by your doctor. While suing can help you receive financial compensation it is not a cure for your emotional stress.
While your attorney is working on your case, you need to focus on your treatment. Documentation of such will further enforce your psychological injury and your efforts to improve your health.
Are There Limits to Emotional Distress Compensation?
Mississippi’s law sets a cap of $1 million for non-economic damages, including emotional distress, in a civil case. The exception is medical malpractice which is limited to $500,000.
Your personal injury lawyer will review similar past case histories with non-economic compensation wins to help determine the potential amount you could expect. Consulting with experts will also help determine proper financial compensation.
Choosing an Attorney for Your Mississippi Emotional Distress Case
It is important to choose an attorney close to you, and who is familiar with the laws of and the court system in Mississippi. Morris Bart has law offices in Gulfport, Hattiesburg, and Pascagoula to help provide local legal services for our Mississippi neighbors. We have a proven track record of winning for a variety of personal injury cases, including receiving compensation for emotional distress.
Our legal team has the compassion and the fortitude to handle your case with care while fighting for your rights. Choose a team devoted to you and your case. That is the Morris Bart team.
Contact Morris Bart for Help Today
No doubt you have been pondering a legal claim for the emotional trauma and mental stress you have been going through. But don’t let it define you. Allow us to see how we can help you.
Give Morris Bart a call today.
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