Can You Sue for Emotional Distress
Daniel.Tan | June 21, 2024 | 0 Comments

Can You Sue for Emotional Distress in Nevada?

In Las Vegas, Nevada, it is crucial to understand that you have the right to take legal action for emotional distress. This understanding empowers you with five distinct options, each tailored to specific circumstances: intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent infliction of emotional distress, incident to an ordinary personal injury claim, incident to a sexual assault claim, and incident to a defamation claim.

What is Emotional Distress?

Emotional distress refers to the mental and emotional anguish that can occur as a result of an injury or a traumatic event. This may encompass an array of intense emotions such as extreme fear, grief, depression, anxiety, shock, or similar feelings. To help you better understand it, you can hire a lawyer or law firm that provides the best legal marketing services for your case.

Symptoms of Emotional Distress

The physical symptoms of emotional distress can manifest in various ways, including chronic headaches, persistent feelings of depression, ongoing fatigue, distressing flashbacks, difficulty sleeping leading to insomnia or nightmares, sudden and intense panic attacks, uncontrollable bouts of crying, and fluctuations in weight. It’s important to note that there are other possible physical symptoms associated with emotional distress as well. 

Law Established By Legislators Versus Law Created By Judges

Personal injury claims are often established by statute. Many states have enacted a dog bite statute, allowing individuals to take legal action against dog owners for injuries caused by their pets. Another example is the dram shop laws in some states, which empower victims of DUI accidents to sue nightclubs that unlawfully served alcohol to the at-fault driver.

Judge-made law, or common law, is developed by courts through their decisions in individual cases rather than legislative statutes. For instance, critical components of a negligence claim, such as duty of care, breach of duty, injury, and causation, have evolved through a gradual process of judicial decisions over time rather than being explicitly defined in statutes. That means that the principles of judge-made law are shaped and refined as courts interpret and apply the law to specific factual scenarios.

Causing someone severe emotional distress on purpose or through carelessness is against the law. Judges make decisions based on past cases to decide if emotional distress has been wrongfully caused in a specific situation.

Deliberate Causation of Emotional Distress

To succeed in a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress, you must establish the following elements: 

1. The defendant’s behavior was extreme and outrageous, surpassing the bounds of decency. 

2. The defendant intended to cause you emotional distress or acted with reckless disregard for the likelihood that their actions would cause you emotional distress.

3. You experienced severe emotional distress as a result of the defendant’s actions. 

4. The defendant’s conduct was the direct cause of your emotional distress. It’s essential to carefully consider these elements when evaluating a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Proving the severity of emotional distress can be challenging, but you’re not alone in this. To do this, it’s best to submit evidence of physical symptoms that often occur alongside emotional distress and seek the guidance of a reputable law firm like Jay Murray Personal Injury Lawyers. Remember, in any case, you need to prove each part of your claim by showing that it’s “more likely than not” true.

Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress

The legal concept of negligent infliction of emotional distress is a relatively recent development. In the state of Nevada, a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress involves several key elements: 

  1. The defendant’s negligent actions led to an injury, such as a car accident. 
  2. The plaintiff, who is either the injured party or a close family member of the victim, witnessed the injury or was directly affected by it. 
  3. The plaintiff was present at or near the scene of the accident when the injury occurred. 
  4. The plaintiff experienced significant emotional distress as a result of the incident. 
  5. The severe emotional distress suffered by the plaintiff was directly caused by witnessing or experiencing the injury for which the defendant was responsible. 
  6. The plaintiff also endured physical symptoms as a result of the emotional distress. 

Similar to claims for intentional infliction of emotional distress, the burden of proof for negligent infliction of emotional distress lies in demonstrating the claim by “a preponderance of the evidence.

If an individual sustains a physical injury for which another party is responsible, they have the option to pursue various types of compensation. In addition to economic damages, which cover financial losses, non-economic damages encompass intangible psychological effects such as pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and emotional distress.

When determining the value of non-economic damages in a Nevada personal injury claim, you can use the per diem or multiplier methods. 

  • Per diem method: Calculate a daily value for your suffering and multiply it by the number of days you suffered. 
  • Multiplier method: Choose a multiplier between 1.5 and 5 and multiply it by your total medical expenses.

 Note that these methods provide total non-economic damages, which may include emotional distress damages. If you suffered emotional distress and other non-economic damages, you’ll need to separate your emotional distress damages from the total non-economic damages.

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