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Do You Have Grounds to Sue for Emotional Trauma?

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Trauma - words from wooden blocks with letters, physical or mental injury trauma

If you suffered mentally and emotionally because of another person’s outrageous conduct or negligence, you may have grounds to sue for emotional trauma. However, you need plenty of evidence that links the physical harm you suffered to the emotional trauma you endured.

Trauma - words from wooden blocks with letters, physical or mental injury trauma

What Are the Grounds to Sue for Emotional Trauma?

Negligence and causation are the primary grounds to sue for emotional trauma under Illinois law. Negligence means that you suffered mentally due to the failure of the other party to perform his or her duty. Causation implies that the negligence or intention of the other party caused your mental suffering.

Negligent Infliction

If someone unintentionally put you through events that caused mental anguish, you have enough grounds to sue for emotional trauma. A good example is when you are involved in a car accident due to a driver’s negligent actions. You can also include emotional trauma, like pain and suffering, when suing for physical damages, like broken limbs.

There must be a physical manifestation of the mental condition to successfully claim damages due to negligent infliction of emotional anguish in Illinois. If you were so shocked by the events that you had a heart attack, you could seek damages from the driver, even if you were not physically harmed during the accident.

The Bystander Lawsuit

You have grounds to sue for emotional trauma if you witnessed an event that left you mentally or emotionally distressed. It is possible to claim damages even if you were not physically or personally in danger. An excellent example would be witnessing a vehicle run over a loved one.

While you were not personally involved, watching a loved one suffer or die can cause untold emotional and mental strain. Even if you arrived at the scene later on and saw the horror of the scene, you still qualify for a bystander lawsuit.

Intentional Infliction

In intentional infliction cases, you must show that the defendant intended to inflict emotional distress on you. It is different from negligence or bystander lawsuits because it shows malice. This means the defendant knowingly and willfully performed the actions that troubled the victim mentally.

A good example includes traumatic events like sexual abuse or extreme bullying. However, the courts only address outrageous or extreme events. Intentional nursing home abuse is also common, including cases where caretakers physically molest the residents. If you are a victim, Chicago nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers can help you seek justice.

Symptoms of Emotional Distress

Like physical injuries, emotional distress produces signs and symptoms that must be visible for your case to succeed. Examples include:

Sleep Disturbances

If your sleep patterns have changed after the traumatic events, you have grounds to sue for emotional trauma. The sleep disturbances must have continued for several weeks to be considered. A good example of a trauma induced sleep disturbance is excessive sleeping or insomnia. Other instances include the inability to fall asleep normally and encountering nightmares.

Dramatic Weight Fluctuations

Some people rapidly lose or gain weight after an emotional distress episode. This is due to a lack of appetite or consuming excessive food in an attempt to cope with the negative emotional state. Eating disorders can point to depression as a result of undergoing a traumatizing event.

Flashbacks

The victim of a traumatizing event may encounter flashbacks, where they mentally re-live the event that put them in their current state. The person may scream while calling out the name of his or her tormentor. Sometimes, the flashbacks may be followed by blackouts where the person completely passes out.

Reacting to Things or Events That Would Have Been Normal Before the Incident

If you fear doing things that you normally did before the emotional trauma, that is a sign of emotional distress. This is common in passengers who were involved in tragic car crashes. The person will avoid anything to do with cars, including riding in, driving, or seeing a car. A Chicago head-on collision lawyer can help you sue for emotional trauma in such cases.

Other Physical Symptoms

Emotional distress can also manifest physically as panic attacks or anxiety. The two are characterized by physical symptoms, such as an increased heart rate, excessive sweating, and trouble breathing. People could even suffer heart attacks directly from a distressing event.

What Causes Emotional Trauma?

There are many causes of emotional trauma. However, they usually have to be extreme or outrageous to leave a long-lasting impact on the victim’s mind. Some causes are intentional, while others are negligent or accidental.

Intentional Causes

Intentional causes are actions done by the defendant in the full knowledge that he or she is causing grievous harm to other people. Take the case of sexual abuse. The defendant proceeds with sexual molestation, knowing that his or her actions strip the victims of their dignity and cause physical harm.

This can also happen with drivers who intentionally break traffic rules. For example, he or she may fail to adhere to set speed limits, or act out in road rage, leading to a car crash. Consult Chicago car accident attorneys if you were involved in such an accident and need grounds to sue for emotional trauma.

Unintentional Causes

Typically, negligence is to blame for personal injury accidents. Failure to perform your duty correctly may end up causing other people pain and suffering. Consider an incident where a tire company accidentally releases substandard tires into the market, causing traumatizing vehicle accidents. While the company didn’t have this intent, people suffered emotionally due to the negligent actions of the quality control department.

Other causes of emotional trauma include domestic abuse, witnessing the passing on of a loved one, physical injuries, humiliation, and threats of physical violence. For you to have sufficient grounds to sue for emotional trauma, someone else must have caused your suffering. You can’t get compensation if you were responsible for the incident. You must also link the extreme event to your mental suffering. There must be a clear link demonstrating cause and effect. 

If you suffered mentally and emotionally because of another person’s outrageous conduct or negligence, you may have grounds to sue for emotional trauma. However, you need plenty of evidence that links the physical harm you suffered to the emotional trauma you endured.

What Are the Grounds to Sue for Emotional Trauma?

Negligence and causation are the primary grounds to sue for emotional trauma under Illinois law. Negligence means that you suffered mentally due to the failure of the other party to perform his or her duty. Causation implies that the negligence or intention of the other party caused your mental suffering.

Negligent Infliction

If someone unintentionally put you through events that caused mental anguish, you have enough grounds to sue for emotional trauma. A good example is when you are involved in a car accident due to a driver’s negligent actions. You can also include emotional trauma, like pain and suffering, when suing for physical damages, like broken limbs.

There must be a physical manifestation of the mental condition to successfully claim damages due to negligent infliction of emotional anguish in Illinois. If you were so shocked by the events that you had a heart attack, you could seek damages from the driver, even if you were not physically harmed during the accident.

The Bystander Lawsuit

You have grounds to sue for emotional trauma if you witnessed an event that left you mentally or emotionally distressed. It is possible to claim damages even if you were not physically or personally in danger. An excellent example would be witnessing a vehicle run over a loved one.

While you were not personally involved, watching a loved one suffer or die can cause untold emotional and mental strain. Even if you arrived at the scene later on and saw the horror of the scene, you still qualify for a bystander lawsuit.

Intentional Infliction

In intentional infliction cases, you must show that the defendant intended to inflict emotional distress on you. It is different from negligence or bystander lawsuits because it shows malice. This means the defendant knowingly and willfully performed the actions that troubled the victim mentally.

A good example includes traumatic events like sexual abuse or extreme bullying. However, the courts only address outrageous or extreme events. Intentional nursing home abuse is also common, including cases where caretakers physically molest the residents. If you are a victim, Chicago nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers can help you seek justice.

Symptoms of Emotional Distress

Like physical injuries, emotional distress produces signs and symptoms that must be visible for your case to succeed. Examples include:

Sleep Disturbances

If your sleep patterns have changed after the traumatic events, you have grounds to sue for emotional trauma. The sleep disturbances must have continued for several weeks to be considered. A good example of a trauma induced sleep disturbance is excessive sleeping or insomnia. Other instances include the inability to fall asleep normally and encountering nightmares.

Dramatic Weight Fluctuations

Some people rapidly lose or gain weight after an emotional distress episode. This is due to a lack of appetite or consuming excessive food in an attempt to cope with the negative emotional state. Eating disorders can point to depression as a result of undergoing a traumatizing event.

Flashbacks

The victim of a traumatizing event may encounter flashbacks, where they mentally re-live the event that put them in their current state. The person may scream while calling out the name of his or her tormentor. Sometimes, the flashbacks may be followed by blackouts where the person completely passes out.

Reacting to Things or Events That Would Have Been Normal Before the Incident

If you fear doing things that you normally did before the emotional trauma, that is a sign of emotional distress. This is common in passengers who were involved in tragic car crashes. The person will avoid anything to do with cars, including riding in, driving, or seeing a car. A Chicago head-on collision lawyer can help you sue for emotional trauma in such cases.

Other Physical Symptoms

Emotional distress can also manifest physically as panic attacks or anxiety. The two are characterized by physical symptoms, such as an increased heart rate, excessive sweating, and trouble breathing. People could even suffer heart attacks directly from a distressing event.

What Causes Emotional Trauma?

There are many causes of emotional trauma. However, they usually have to be extreme or outrageous to leave a long-lasting impact on the victim’s mind. Some causes are intentional, while others are negligent or accidental.

Intentional Causes

Intentional causes are actions done by the defendant in the full knowledge that he or she is causing grievous harm to other people. Take the case of sexual abuse. The defendant proceeds with sexual molestation, knowing that his or her actions strip the victims of their dignity and cause physical harm.

This can also happen with drivers who intentionally break traffic rules. For example, he or she may fail to adhere to set speed limits, or act out in road rage, leading to a car crash. Consult Chicago accident attorneys if you were involved in such an accident and need grounds to sue for emotional trauma.

Unintentional Causes

Typically, negligence is to blame for personal injury accidents. Failure to perform your duty correctly may end up causing other people pain and suffering. Consider an incident where a tire company accidentally releases substandard tires into the market, causing traumatizing vehicle accidents. While the company didn’t have this intent, people suffered emotionally due to the negligent actions of the quality control department.

Other causes of emotional trauma include domestic abuse, witnessing the passing on of a loved one, physical injuries, humiliation, and threats of physical violence. For you to have sufficient grounds to sue for emotional trauma, someone else must have caused your suffering. You can’t get compensation if you were responsible for the incident. You must also link the extreme event to your mental suffering. There must be a clear link demonstrating cause and effect. 

About the Author

Kurt D. Lloyd is a plaintiff’s trial lawyer who focuses on medical malpractice and other catastrophic injury cases. He lives in Chicago and represents injured clients throughout Illinois. He is also the founder of Lloyd Miller Law, Ltd.

Years of Experience: Over 35 years
Illinois Registration Status: Active
Bar Admissions: Illinois State Bar

Kurt D. Lloyd is a plaintiff’s trial lawyer who focuses on medical malpractice and other catastrophic injury cases. He lives in Chicago and represents injured clients throughout Illinois. He is also the founder of Lloyd Miller Law, Ltd.

Years of Experience: Approx. 20 years
Minnesota Registration Status: Active
Bar & Court Admissions: Illinois State Bar Association U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois

Kurt D. Lloyd is a plaintiff’s trial lawyer who focuses on medical malpractice and other catastrophic injury cases. He lives in Chicago and represents injured clients throughout Illinois. He is also the founder of Lloyd Miller Law, Ltd.

Years of Experience: Over 35 years
Illinois Registration Status: Active
Bar Admissions: Illinois State Bar

Kurt D. Lloyd is a plaintiff’s trial lawyer who focuses on medical malpractice and other catastrophic injury cases. He lives in Chicago and represents injured clients throughout Illinois. He is also the founder of Lloyd Miller Law, Ltd.

Years of Experience: Over 35 years
Illinois Registration Status: Active
Bar Admissions: Illinois State Bar