When you are injured as the result of an accident or someone else’s negligence, a personal injury claim is likely to follow. And while personal injuries are mostly associated with physical wounds, the event often leaves psychological damage too.
In Canada, victims can seek compensation for psychological injuries just as they can for physical distress through a personal injury claim.
But just like certain physical wounds, the psychological impact of an accident can be long-lasting on the victim and have devastating consequences. This is why it’s important for victims to seek compensation for both their physical and psychological injuries.
However, proving psychological distress can be a lot more challenging than proving physical injuries. So, if you or someone close to you has sustained mental trauma because of someone else’s negligence, it’s imperative that you work with one of our personal injury lawyers in Brampton. They will have the experience to deal with cases similar to yours and will do their best to prove your injuries to ensure you receive the compensation you rightfully deserve.
How Personal Injury Lawyers Can Prove Emotional Distress
Let’s take a look at the details surrounding an emotional distress lawsuit in Ontario.
What is emotional distress?
Emotional distress is when a victim of personal injury suffers emotionally as well as physically. When you experience trauma because of a personal injury, you can file a civil lawsuit for emotional distress. However, a separate personal injury claim is often accompanied by a lawsuit.
What is the best way to go about an emotional distress claim in Ontario?
Emotional distress is most often caused by another’s negligence and this distress is the direct result of the physical trauma. To determine fair compensation, the courts need to consider factors like the victim’s age, the severity and type of injuries, the duration of pain, and their level of disability.
Here are the steps that a victim can take when looking to sue for emotional distress:
- Document the Trauma/Injury
It’s necessary to have documentation such as work records, medical records, and personal journals among others to back up your claim. If you use an electronic tracking device that monitors your sleep and heart rate throughout the day, this data can come in handy too. The more information you have related to your distress, the higher your chances of a successful outcome and the easier it will be to recover fair compensation.
- Speak to Your Lawyer
Your best bet to ensure you receive fair compensation is to consult a personal injury lawyer. As mentioned, their experience will help determine your best way forward. Plus, they will also minutely review your documents and give relevant legal advice.
- File a Lawsuit
Once you have hired a reputable personal injury lawyer, you can seek help from them to file a lawsuit against the defendant for causing emotional distress.
- Prepare for Pre-Trial
When the defendant has been informed of the lawsuit, the next step is the discovery process where both parties exchange information that will be valuable in fighting your case. While both parties may work things out in an out-of-court settlement to avoid taking the case to trial, it’s best to listen to your lawyer. They will help you understand whether or not the settlement is fair and acceptable.
- Trial and Settlement
If your case goes to trial, arguments and evidence will be presented in court by both parties. This will allow the judge to make a decision they deem suitable.
As you can see, suing for emotional distress can be a difficult and overwhelming process. This is why it’s best to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer who knows how the process works as it’s your best chance to recover damages.
What are the different types of psychological distress lawsuits in Canada?
While there are various types of damages in personal injury claims, when it comes to psychological distress claims, they can arise in situations including:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Dog or other animal bites
- Product liability
- Premises liability
- Medical malpractice
- Unlawful imprisonment
- False arrest
- Wrongful death
Along with these, sexual assault and sexual abuse can lead the victim to file a civil claim against the defendant. Employees subjected to teasing, humiliation, or other types of extreme behaviour may also be entitled to compensation from employers who engaged in such conduct. This is also applicable in instances wherein the employer failed to stop or prevent such actions.
Are emotional distress claims difficult to pursue?
While you can sue someone for causing psychological distress, the process can be difficult to maneuver, especially for someone already be dealing with physical trauma. Because the symptoms of such distress aren’t as visible as physical injuries, this makes accurately documenting the trauma necessary. You also need to make sure that the testimonies provided by everyone are consistent. For this, you can get in touch with an expert witness who can testify to your condition, although this can be an expensive endeavour. However, this will help you establish your condition in a more convincing way.
Emotional distress can affect your overall quality of life. And while you can certainly pursue a lawsuit for psychological distress, it will be difficult to navigate the legal system and procedures in Ontario on your own. This is why you need to consult with a personal injury lawyer in Brampton or elsewhere within the province. They will assess your case and offer the best possible options to guarantee you receive the compensation you deserve.