Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress (IIED) happens when another person takes actions to purposely cause severe emotional distress to someone else through their outrageous or extreme conduct. When these kinds of intentional actions occur, victims can suffer long-lasting damage and may be able to recover compensation through a personal injury claim. IIED claims are based on the theory of intentional tort that allows civil actions to arise to recover compensation for the infliction of emotional harm. These cases often arise through an employer/employee relationship, but they can also arise in various other ways.
What Qualifies as Emotional Damages?
When a civil personal injury lawsuit arises that involves physical injuries, those damages are relatively easy to see and quantify. However, emotional damages occur when a person suffers psychological harm due to the negligent or intentional actions of another person or entity. Emotional damages are not as easy to see as physical damages, but they can be just as traumatic.
There are a few categories of emotional damages: “pain and suffering” and “infliction of emotional distress.”
Pain and suffering damages are typically sought after a plaintiff (injury victim) is physically harmed and wants to pursue financial compensation for emotional damages caused by the physical injuries. However, there are times when a plaintiff will suffer from emotional trauma in the absence of physical injury. In these instances, they will pursue compensation for the infliction of emotional distress.
Examples of IIED cases
In general, infliction of emotional distress cases in Philadelphia will revolve around situations in which a traumatic incident happens in somebody else’s presence. Damages for IIED could be pursued:
- If a person was in a “zone of danger” when a traumatic incident occurs.
A person who is seeking IIED damages must have been a witness to the incident in question. For example, if a mother witnesses her daughter’s death caused by another person’s intentional or negligent actions, she may be able to recover emotional distress damages.
- If the emotional distress was a direct result of observing the incident.
In order to recover compensation in these cases, the plaintiff will need to establish that the emotional distress that they have filed a lawsuit for was a direct result of the incident in question. For example, a person who has a history of mental illness or depression may have a harder time successfully securing compensation in an IIED case.
- If the person in question and the victim in the incident were closely related.
Claims made purely on emotional distress will often revolve around how close the plaintiff and the victim in this incident were. Generally, they must be family members.
Contact Ciccarelli Law Offices
The very nature of IIED cases means that they will be complicated. Plaintiffs will need to prove that they have suffered extreme emotional distress in the absence of actual physical injuries. In order to do so, they will need an attorney with vast experience handling these cases and the resources to conduct a thorough investigation.
At Ciccarelli Law Offices, we are ready to get to work on your behalf. Our team has the resources to work with medical and psychological experts in order to prove the damages you have sustained and secure the compensation you deserve. When you need a Philadelphia injury attorney, you can contact us for a free consultation of your case by clicking here or calling (215) 228-0100.