Can I Sue Someone for Emotional Distress?

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It is possible for a person who feels he has suffered emotional distress due to negligence or the intentional actions of another person to sue for damages, according to LegalMatch. Damages in these cases are limited to the severity of the distress as deemed by the court. Some lawyers opt not to take a case solely based on emotional distress issues since these damages are usually relatively minor.

LegalMatch explains that there are two ways to sue for emotional distress. The first is negligent infliction of emotional distress. In this instance, the plaintiff must prove that the person's negligence was so egregious that it resulted in physical symptoms or injury. The second option is intentional infliction of emotional distress. In this case, the plaintiff must prove that the person intentionally acted in an intolerable or completely outrageous manner, which led to severe emotional trauma.

According to the law offices of Jacob B. Smith, it is extremely difficult for plaintiffs to sue successfully for claims of intentional emotional distress. In addition, collecting damages in these cases is even more challenging. The law firm goes on to relate that even if a person succeeds in proving someone caused him great emotional suffering, he is unlikely to prove that the outrageous conduct meets the legal criteria for damages.