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Personal Injury

Emotional Distress and Personal Injury Suits

By November 19, 2020April 22nd, 2021No Comments

Most successful personal injury suits recover damages from different components of “pain and suffering,” one which can be emotional distress. This is in addition to the more common losses including medical bills, lost wages, and other things related to physical injuries you’ve suffered. 

How Do You Quantify Emotional Distress?

When looking at emotional distress, you’re looking to consider compensation for the psychological impact an incident and injuries have had on your day-to-day quality of life. As you might expect, this list can be long and the symptoms can be wide-ranging.

Everything from sleep to depression to chronic anxiety is up for debate and there’s a long list of mental conditions that could dramatically change your daily life following an auto or motorcycle accident. Quantifying this depends on how much it’s truly affecting your ability to lead a normal course of life with family, employment, etc. 

Severity Matters, Too

If you’re just having a bit of anxiety here or there following your incident, then you likely cannot recover damages for minor symptoms. If you can’t sleep, are battling daily depression or another more significant symptom, then you might be able to pursue damages relative to your level of suffering. A formal, documented diagnosis from a qualified medical professional could help build your case. A knowledgeable personal injury attorney will help guide you if this route seems like an option for your particular situation.

Intentional Infliction and Damage Caps

In some cases, you could file a separate “intentional infliction” claim, accusing the defendant of gross negligence or a clear intention to care for emotional distress in addition to physical harm. These are often harder to prove, however. 

Ohio has a damage cap for non-economic losses incurred through an incident. That limit is $250,000 or three times the amount of economic damages, whichever is greater. If you’re the only plaintiff in an Ohio case, you can recover a maximum of $350,000 in noneconomic damages. 


If you’ve suffered emotional distress as a result of an auto or motorcycle accident, you may be able to recover damages for your symptoms and inability to lead a normal life. Your first call should be to a professional personal injury law firm like the team at Garretson & Holcomb, LLC. Let their years of experience help you understand your best options and scenarios to potentially win compensation. Call 513-863-6600 to learn more. 

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