When people file personal injury lawsuits, they usually do so for injuries they incurred because of the defendant’s negligence. However, sometimes, people are involved in accidents and leave the experience with barely a scratch. That does not mean, however, that those individuals cannot be affected or “injured” by accident in non-physical ways. Indeed, for many, the mental and emotional scars left by a traumatic event are longer lasting and can be worse than any physical injuries.

New Jersey does allow plaintiffs to sue for emotional distress. However, you need to prove through evidence that you are eligible for those kinds of damages. This can be a challenge because emotional distress does not always leave physical scars, but our lawyers are more than ready to show courts that you have suffered emotional distress and are entitled to compensation.

Let our New Jersey personal injury lawyers start looking at your claim by calling Legal Care New Jersey at the number (732) 838-9769.

What Circumstances Can Lead to Lawsuits for Emotional Distress in New Jersey?

Many different circumstances can result in emotional distress for victims of personal injury lawsuits. The nature of emotional distress is that no one can really predict when it will happen. Some situations that could lead to emotional distress for victims of personal injury cases include:

Motor Vehicle Accidents

Car accidents result in emotional distress very frequently. For example, suppose you are driving along when a large truck collides with your car. Afterwards, you are in extreme pain and go in and out of consciousness, only to hear the pained screams of the people who were also passengers in the car. Naturally, such an experience is likely to have an effect on you longer after any physical injuries have healed, and you could sue the truck driver for emotional distress, among other damages.

Premises Liability

Sometimes, dangerous property conditions can result in emotional distress claims. Property owners have a duty to keep their premises safe and are negligent when they fail to do that. For example, suppose you go to an old concert hall that has an old chandelier hanging from the ceiling that really should have been repaired or taken down. During the show, the chandelier falls down and crushes you as well as a bunch of people right in front of you. In that situation, you can sue for emotional distress in a premises liability claim.

Survival Actions

Damages for emotional distress are not available in wrongful death lawsuits in New Jersey. However, they are available in survival actions. These are lawsuits where the executor of an estate sues for harm done to the deceased before they passed away. In this case, the emotional distress in question will not be yours but that which the deceased felt before they succumbed to their injuries. Getting damages for emotional distress in survival actions can be tricky, so you should definitely discuss the matter with our Bayonne, NJ personal injury lawyers.

What Damages Constitute “Emotional Distress” in New Jersey?

When you sue someone in court, you’re looking to get financial compensation for what the defendant caused. Now, a lot of what you get will be for physical issues, but you can also get damages for intangible things like “pain and suffering,” mental anguish, and emotional distress. Some things that could result in damages awarded for emotional distress include:

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a condition where an individual has a hard time getting “back on track” after a scary or dangerous experience. PTSD is common in people who see combat in the military but also in victims of motor vehicle accidents, earthquakes, and other near-death or scary experiences.

PSTD will be different for every person, but if you can show to the court that you have been diagnosed with PTSD or experience symptoms associated with PTSD, it can factor into damages you get for emotional distress.

Diminished Quality of Life

You do not need a diagnosis of PSTD to get damages for emotional distress. If you are experiencing any symptoms of distress stemming from your accident, you can get compensation for it. For example, if you were in a car crash and subsequently have recurring nightmares about the crash, panic whenever you get in a car, and also just feel “lousy” all day but don’t have a diagnosis of PTSD, you can still get damages for emotional distress if you can prove that those ailments stem from the defendant’s conduct. This is sometimes referred to as a “lost” or “diminished” quality of life because, had the defendant not negligently injured you, you would not be experiencing these issues.

Calculating Damages for Emotional Distress in New Jersey

When you ask for damages of any kind, you have to state the amount you are seeking in your claim. There is no prescribed way of calculating damages, but some commonly used methods include:

Multiplier Method

First, the multiplier method takes the value of things like medical expenses and multiplies them by a given factor to determine the value of your non-economic damages, like emotional distress. This method is most viable when the evidence in your case can show a clear link between medical expenses and your emotional distress.

Per Diem Method

The other way to calculate damages is called the “per diem” method. This method takes into account each day you deal with emotional distress and adds up a decided-upon amount of compensation for each day you are dealing with that distress.

Call Our New Jersey Personal Injury Lawyers Now

If you believe you have a claim for emotional distress, call our Clifton, NJ personal injury lawyers from Legal Care New Jersey at the number (732) 838-9769.