Can You Sue for Emotional Distress in Chicago?

Sue for Emotional Distress

When an accident happens, victims suffer. Sometimes, this suffering comes in the form of property damage and physical injury. Often, mental anguish and emotional distress accompany these losses. 

It’s only natural to think of a personal injury lawsuit after an accident when someone else was negligent for the damage. But, can you file an emotional distress claim as well? Short answer: it’s possible. Meaning that you may be able to file an emotional distress claim for financial compensation if your injury claim meets certain eligibility factors.  

If you’d like to learn if your case may qualify for an emotional distress lawsuit in Chicago, reach out to an emotional distress lawyer at Lerner and Rowe. Our most valuable non-legal service we offer aims to carry the emotional burden of our clients as best we can. That way, during your case, you can focus on recovery and moving forward after an accident. 

Contact us today for a free, no obligation consultation at 708-222-2222, through our LiveChat feature, or fill out this  online form.  

Emotional Distress Defined

Every accident comes with some amount of stress. So, what exactly counts as emotional distress that might be eligible for compensation? The Illinois Compiled Statutes defines emotional distress as “significant mental suffering, anxiety, or alarm.” 

Some examples of significant mental suffering are:

  • Hopelessness
  • A lack of energy
  • Mental pain
  • Anguish
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Anxiety

The victim may even be diagnosed with an emotional disorder, like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or post-accident vehophobia. These conditions affect the victim every day, meaning they will need to adjust their lifestyle accordingly and seek professional help.

Furthermore, the Legal Information Institute describes emotional distress as “an emotional response to an experience that arises from the effect or memory of a particular event, occurrence, pattern of events or condition.” 

From this information, we understand the initial factors of an eligible emotional distress claim. First, according to emotional distress law, the distress must greatly impact the person’s life. And, the emotional distress may come from the accident itself, memories of that accident, or even the condition caused by the accident. 

The next factor involves understanding the circumstances surrounding the accident, and how Illinois law applies to its specific circumstances.

Types of Emotional Distress Defined

Emotional distress law dictates there are two different types of infliction that may cause emotional harm. To build your case, your lawyer must determine which kind was present during your accident.

  1. The first is intentional infliction of emotional distress. In cases of intentional infliction, law is strict. The person who caused the trauma (the defendant) must have acted recklessly or intentionally. These actions must have been extreme, and been the direct cause of the victim’s (plaintiff’s) emotional distress. This may apply in cases of abuse, harassment, defamation, and more. 
  1. The second type is negligent infliction of emotional distress. This does not adhere to the same guidelines. Instead, your lawyer must prove that the defendant had a duty to keep the plaintiff safe from harm, and that there was a breach of duty, causing significant mental injury.

The latter is a common theme throughout all tort law. Our award-winning team of attorneys understand the complexities, and will adjust your claim accordingly as your case develops.

Emotional Distress Law IL

Illinois emotional distress law is the next factor your attorney will consider when building your case. For the most part, emotional distress law IL follows the impact rule. According to the impact rule, the victim must be physically hurt as well as mentally suffering in order to claim emotional distress in their lawsuit. 

Every case is different, though. If you have not been physically hurt, but still are suffering the consequences of another’s actions mentally, don’t dismiss the possibility of receiving compensation. 

Depending on different factors surrounding your specific incident, you may still have a case. An emotional distress lawyer at Lerner and Rowe can help you figure out what to do next after learning the details of your case. Our representatives are available to help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We are ready to listen to your case and answer any questions about your emotional distress and possible compensation.

What Causes Emotional Distress?

There are a number of personal injury cases that commonly include emotional distress claims. For instance, someone who broke both arms in a car accident may also suffer from PTSD everytime they enter a vehicle. Or, a motorcyclist may never ride again (due to their mental anguish) after suffering from significant road rash when a car swerved ahead of him.

Emotional distress is not only common in traffic accidents, but in other branches of personal injury law as well. In the case of medical malpractice, a victim may not be able to visit a doctor moving forward without extreme anxiety and emotional turmoil. A victim of a dangerous or defective product may suffer from a feeling of immense hopelessness, as their dangerous drug gave them a chronic condition.

Finally, in some cases, witnessing a wrongful death may also qualify for compensation. This is an especially tricky and sensitive situation, so don’t try to handle it all on your own. Instead, talk to a legal representative for a free case consultation and learn how we can help.

Working With an Emotional Distress Lawyer in Chicago

Compensation for emotional distress is considered non-economic, or general, damages. Therefore, it’s difficult to put an exact price on the compensation you are owed. That is why we highly suggest working with an experienced personal injury lawyer that is well versed in Illinois law.  

If you decide to let us represent your emotional distress claim, you can be confident that your legal team will help ensure your best interests are looked after. We will do this by assisting you in the collection of relevant evidence to prove that the emotional distress from your accident has impacted your life significantly. From there, we will take the steps to build a strong case on your behalf. 

Whatever you decide, it is important that you contact qualified legal representation sooner than later. The statute of limitations for emotional distress lawsuits in Illinois is two years from the date of the accident, so don’t hesitate. 

Call 708-222-2222, chat via LiveChat, or fill out this online form today for a free, no obligation consultation to learn what we can do for you during your time of need. 

The information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.