Can You Sue for Emotional Distress?

While emotional distress can be deeply impactful, suing for it requires specific circumstances.

It's Not Just Hurt Feelings

The law doesn't compensate for everyday emotional bumps. You need to prove the distress is severe and caused by:

Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress (IIED): The defendant's actions were outrageous and intended to cause extreme emotional suffering (e.g., stalking, harassment). Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress (NIED): The defendant's negligence caused you severe emotional distress, often accompanied by a physical injury or its close aftermath (e.g., witnessing a traumatic accident).

High Bar for Success

Severity of Distress: Proof of significant emotional harm, often through medical records and expert testimony. Causation: A clear link between the defendant's actions and your emotional suffering. Remember: Laws vary by state. Consulting an attorney familiar with your local laws is crucial to assessing the viability of your claim.