Are you considering filing a lawsuit against those you hold responsible for a serious injury — whether it was the result of a car crash, a slip-and-fall accident or an amusement park ride that went awry? You’ve likely heard that in addition to compensation to cover the cost of medical care, physical therapy and time off work, you can seek compensation for “pain and suffering.”

This can be physical pain and suffering as well as emotional distress (often referred to as “mental anguish.”) This can be even more difficult to prove and quantify than physical pain. However, it’s very real. It can cause depression, anxiety, insomnia and even exacerbate your physical problems.

To add an emotional distress component to your lawsuit, you will need to show that:

  • The defendant caused the emotional distress
  • It’s more than fleeting
  • It’s medically significant

You should have evidence to support your claim of emotional distress. Documentation from a doctor or other medical records can be helpful. If you’ve begun taking anti-anxiety medication or have been seeing a psychologist, those things can be used as evidence of the emotional impact of the event and your injuries.

It’s also wise to keep some type of journal regarding your emotional health following your injury. This can strengthen your case.

Your attorney can help you determine whether you have a valid claim for emotional distress after an accident or other event that caused you to suffer injuries. They can then help you build a strong case that you should be compensated for that distress along with the economic costs of your injuries.