Emotional Distress in NYC
Emotional distress is a term used to describe significant psychological harm or suffering that a person may experience as a result of someone else’s actions or negligence.  It can manifest in various ways, including:
Emotional distress is often linked to traumatic events, such as accidents, personal injuries, or the death of a loved one.
Proving emotional distress in New York can be challenging, as it requires demonstrating that the defendant’s actions were the direct cause of the distress and that the distress resulted in tangible harm or the need for medical treatment.
Can Emotional Distress Be Legally Actionable?
In the legal context, emotional distress can be a basis for a valid claim under certain circumstances. Emotional distress refers to the psychological or mental anguish experienced as a result of someone else’s intentional or negligent actions.
While it may seem difficult to quantify distress, it can have real and lasting impacts on an individual’s well-being. For emotional distress to be considered legally actionable, certain criteria must be met.
One such criterion is the need to establish that the defendant’s conduct was intentional or negligent, and that it directly caused the emotional harm suffered by the plaintiff. Simply feeling upset or hurt may not be enough to pursue a claim for emotional distress.
In cases of intentional infliction, the defendant’s actions must be considered outrageous or beyond the bounds of acceptable behavior.
On the other hand, in cases of negligent infliction, the defendant’s conduct must be proven to have fallen below the reasonable standard of care, resulting in emotional harm.
To support a claim for emotional distress, it may be necessary to present evidence such as medical records, testimony from mental health professionals, or other forms of documentation that demonstrate the extent and nature of the emotional harm suffered.
Who Can File a Lawsuit for Emotional Distress in NYC?
In New York City, individuals who have suffered emotional distress due to the negligent or intentional actions of another person may have the legal right to file a lawsuit.
Certain criteria established under New York law must be met in order to pursue a claim for emotional distress.
One category of individuals who can is immediate family members who have witnessed an injury or death caused by the defendant’s negligence.
This is known as negligent infliction of emotional distress (NIED). These family members must be in what is commonly referred to as the “zone of danger,” meaning they were present at the scene of the accident and faced a risk of physical harm themselves. 
Immediate family members allowed to file a lawsuit for NIED include spouses, parents, children, and siblings. Recent changes to New York law have expanded the scope to include grandparents as well.
This change recognizes the importance of the bond between grandparents and their grandchildren and acknowledges the potential emotional trauma they may experience in witnessing a traumatic event.
Types of Emotional Distress Claims in NYC
In New York, individuals who have experienced trauma as a result of another person’s negligence have legal options available to them.
Emotional distress claims can vary in nature, and it is essential to understand the different types of claims that can be pursued in New York City.
Emotional Distress Claims in Wrongful Death Cases:
In wrongful death cases, immediate family members of the deceased may pursue emotional distress claims in addition to other damages. Losing a loved one due to someone else’s negligence can result in profound emotional pain and suffering. The distress claim seeks to compensate the family members for the mental and emotional anguish they have endured as a result of the untimely loss.
Emotional Distress Damages in Personal Injury Lawsuits:
Emotional distress can also be intertwined with physical injuries in personal injury claims. Individuals who suffer severe physical harm as a result of another party’s negligent actions may also experience psychological trauma and emotional pain. In such cases, emotional distress damages can be sought as part of the overall compensation to address the mental anguish caused by the incident.
Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress:
Intentional actions by an individual can lead to trauma reactions by others. To pursue a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress, the victim must demonstrate that the defendant’s actions were outrageous and intentional, causing significant psychological harm. This claim often requires evidence of extreme and outrageous conduct beyond the typical bounds of acceptable behavior.
Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress (NIED):
Immediate family members who witnessed an accident or untimely death caused by someone else’s negligence may be able to file a lawsuit for NIED. This involves being present at the scene of the incident and facing a risk of physical harm. Spouses, parents, children, siblings, and even grandparents are now recognized as eligible family members under recent changes in New York law. This expansion acknowledges the trauma that can be experienced by grandparents witnessing a traumatic event involving their grandchildren.
Hiring an Attorney for an Emotional Distress Claim in NYC
When dealing with the aftermath of a personal injury, the focus is often on physical injuries and medical treatment. However, do not overlook the significant impact that traumatic experiences can have on an individual’s well-being.
In New York City, individuals who have suffered emotional distress as a result of another party’s negligence may be entitled to seek compensation.
Hiring an attorney experienced in handling emotional distress claims can help navigate the legal process and ensure fair compensation for the emotional harm suffered.
By understanding the legal landscape surrounding emotional distress claims in NYC, individuals can take the necessary steps to protect their rights and seek compensation.
Building a Strong Case
To build a strong emotional distress claim, evidence must be gathered that supports the extent of the emotional harm suffered.
This may include medical records, testimonies from mental health professionals, and statements from friends and family members who can attest to the impact the distress has had on the claimant’s life.
A New York attorney well-versed in emotional distress claims can guide the claimant in this process and ensure that all necessary evidence is collected to establish the severity of the emotional distress.
Calculating Compensation for Emotional Distress
Determining fair compensation for emotional distress can be complex. In NYC, non-economic damages, which include emotional distress, can be awarded to the claimant in a personal injury lawsuit.
These damages are meant to compensate for the pain, suffering, and emotional trauma endured as a result of the defendant’s actions. An attorney experienced in handling these claims can help calculate an appropriate amount of compensation based on the specific circumstances of the case.
Ready to get the legal support and compensation you deserve for emotional distress?
Contact Goldberg & Loren today for hard-hitting legal representation in NYC.
 emotional distress. (n.d.). LII / Legal Information Institute. https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/emotional_distress
 negligent infliction of emotional distress. (n.d.). LII / Legal Information Institute. https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/negligent_infliction_of_emotional_distress