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By Neil Davis

When most people think of personal injury claims, they often focus on the physical harm suffered by the victim. However, the emotional and psychological impact of an accident or traumatic event can be just as devastating, if not more so. In Michigan, individuals who have experienced severe emotional distress due to the negligent or intentional actions of another party may be entitled to seek compensation for their emotional injuries.

Emotional distress injuries, also known as mental anguish or psychological injuries, can manifest in various forms, such as anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), sleeplessness, and more. These injuries can have a profound effect on a person’s quality of life, relationships, and ability to function in daily activities or at work.

What Is Emotional Distress?

In the context of personal injury law, emotional distress is the mental anguish and psychological trauma a person experiences as a result of another party’s negligent conduct. This distress can manifest as feelings of grief, terror, anxiety, depression, fear for one’s own safety, or other forms of mental turmoil. Emotional distress is a compensable injury in Michigan, and victims have the right to seek compensation for the emotional harm they have endured due to another’s actions.

Can You Sue for Emotional Distress Without Physical Injuries?

Under Michigan law, it is possible to file a claim for emotional distress even if you have not suffered physical injuries. However, to succeed in such a claim, you must demonstrate that the emotional distress you experienced resulted in a definite and objective physical injury. This means that your mental anguish must have caused symptoms such as weight loss, sleep disturbances, gastrointestinal issues, or other verifiable physical manifestations.

Can a Bystander Sue for Emotional Distress?

Michigan law allows bystanders to file a claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress under certain circumstances. To qualify, the bystander must be an immediate family member (parent, child, or spouse) of the individual who was directly harmed by the negligent act. Additionally, the bystander must have witnessed the event that caused the harm or arrived on the scene shortly thereafter. The emotional shock experienced by the bystander must also result in actual physical consequences.

How Can I Prove Emotional Distress?

To prove emotional distress in a legal claim, you will need to provide evidence that demonstrates the severity of your mental anguish and its impact on your life. This may include testimony from mental health professionals who have treated you, documentation of any medications prescribed to manage your distress, and statements from family and friends who have witnessed changes in your behavior or emotional state. You will also need to establish a clear link between the negligent conduct and the onset of your emotional distress.

While proving emotional distress can be challenging, working with a skilled Michigan personal injury attorney can help you compile the evidence you need to file a successful claim. An attorney can also calculate the total value of your claim, handle negotiations with insurers, and represent you in court if necessary.

Contact an Experienced Farmington Hills Personal Injury Attorney Today

At the Davis Law Center, we understand that the impact of an accident extends far beyond physical injuries. The emotional distress that often accompanies a traumatic event can be overwhelming and life-altering. As a law firm deeply rooted in the Farmington Hills community for over 30 years, we are committed to providing the support and legal guidance you need during this challenging time.

Our compassionate attorneys recognize that every case involves a person whose life has been upended by an accident. We take a personalized approach to each case, focusing on your unique needs and working tirelessly to help you recover what you’ve lost. With our extensive experience and consistent track record of success, you can trust that your case is in capable hands. Contact us today for a free consultation to learn more about how we can help you.

About the Author
Neil Davis, owner of Davis Law Center, is a seasoned attorney specializing in personal injury cases. With over 30 years of experience, he has successfully secured millions in compensation for injured individuals. Neil is a dedicated advocate for justice and an active member of legal associations. Personal injury law is complex and best handled by a competent attorney who can effectively evaluate, prepare, present, and fight to win your case. Neil prides himself on doing all these things for his clients and would be honored to have the opportunity to discuss your case with you.