If someone’s actions have severely harmed your mental and emotional well-being, you might wonder if the law can provide you with a means of compensation.

Emotional distress, often referred to as mental anguish or psychological harm, is a condition that can result from traumatic experiences such as accidents, medical negligence, or even intentional infliction of emotional distress. Understanding your legal options when suing for emotional distress is crucial in determining whether pursuing a lawsuit is appropriate for your situation.

Emotional distress lawsuits fall under the realm of personal injury law. However, it’s important to note that not all instances of emotional distress can be grounds for a lawsuit.

Generally, to sue for emotional distress successfully, you must demonstrate that the defendant’s actions were negligent or intentional and directly caused you significant psychological harm. This means proving that their conduct was beyond what would be considered reasonable under the circumstances.

What Is Emotional Distress?

Emotional distress is a legal term used to describe psychological and emotional symptoms resulting from a traumatic event or ongoing stressful circumstances. It refers to mental anguish, suffering, and emotional pain caused by another party’s actions or negligence. Emotional distress can manifest as,

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Shame or guilt
  • Insomnia or nightmares
  • Flashbacks
  • Fatigue
  • Chronic headaches
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Frequent crying

To pursue a lawsuit for emotional distress, plaintiffs must show significant psychological harm as a direct result of someone else’s actions or negligence. This requires evidence such as medical records, expert testimony, and relevant documentation. Seeking guidance from an experienced personal injury lawyer can help navigate this complex area of law and maximize the chances of a successful outcome.

Types Of Emotional Distress Lawsuits In Florida

In Florida, where emotional distress cases are governed by state law, there are different types of claims related to mental suffering that individuals can pursue. These include claims for,

  • Negligent infliction of emotional distress (NIED)
  • Intentional infliction of emotional distress (IIED)
  • Bystander claims

Each type has specific requirements and standards to be met to prove your case successfully. When it comes to damages in an emotional distress lawsuit in Florida, compensation may be awarded both for economic losses such as medical expenses and lost wages as well as non-economic losses like pain and suffering or loss of enjoyment of life.

Emotional distress cases can be complex, and having a knowledgeable attorney by your side can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case. They will guide you through the legal process, help gather necessary evidence, and build a solid argument to support your claim.

What Kind Of Damages Does Emotional Distress Fall Under In Florida?

In Florida, emotional distress is considered non-economic damage in personal injury cases. To determine the extent of damages awarded, the severity and impact of emotional distress should be considered. The duration and intensity of the emotional distress experienced, its demonstrability, effects on daily functioning, and related expenses should also be considered.

How To Sue For Emotional Distress

When suing for emotional distress, it is important to understand the necessary steps and considerations involved in pursuing a legal claim. The first step is to consult with an experienced emotional distress lawyer who can guide you through the process and provide crucial advice. These lawyers specialize in handling cases related to emotional distress, ensuring that you have the expertise required for a successful lawsuit.

  1. Your emotional distress lawyer will evaluate the circumstances surrounding your case and assess whether you have grounds for legal action. They will examine various factors, such as the severity of your emotional suffering, the actions or negligence of the responsible party, and any available evidence supporting your claim.
  2. If it is determined that your case has merit, your lawyer will assist in gathering all relevant evidence to support your claim of emotional distress. This might include medical records documenting any psychological harm suffered, testimonies from mental health professionals attesting to the impact on your well-being, and any other pertinent documentation.

In addition to building a strong evidentiary foundation, it is essential to establish a direct link between the actions of the liable party and your resulting emotional harm. This requires demonstrating that their behavior was both negligent or intentional and directly caused significant emotional trauma.

Proving this causal connection often necessitates delving into intricate legal arguments supported by expert testimony. Furthermore, depending on where you reside or where the incident occurred, there may be specific requirements or limitations regarding lawsuits for emotional distress. For example, some jurisdictions require proof of physical symptoms accompanying psychological damage if you are suing for negligent infliction of emotional distress.

Another critical aspect to consider when suing for emotional distress is the potential damages that can be sought in such cases. These damages may include compensation for medical expenses related to mental health treatment sought due to the incident causing distress as well as lost wages due to an inability to work.

Additionally, emotional distress settlement amounts may encompass compensation for the emotional pain and suffering endured, loss of enjoyment of life, and any future psychological treatment expenses. It is worth noting that different entities can be subject to lawsuits for emotional distress.

By gathering compelling evidence and establishing a direct link between the responsible party’s actions and your resulting emotional trauma, you increase the likelihood of a successful claim. Moreover, comprehending potential damages available and any jurisdiction-specific requirements ensures that you pursue appropriate compensation for the harm endured.

Common Questions

Can I Sue A City For Emotional Distress?

Suing a city or municipality for emotional distress can be difficult due to sovereign immunity. This legal doctrine protects government entities from being held liable for specific actions unless they have waived their immunity. However, some exceptions to this rule allow you to seek legal action against the city for emotional distress.

To successfully sue a city for emotional distress, you need to prove that your distress was caused by the negligent or intentional actions of city employees or officials. This requires demonstrating that the city had a duty to act with reasonable care towards you and that they breached this duty, resulting in your emotional distress. For instance, if you suffered severe emotional trauma due to an accident on poorly maintained city property, you may have a valid claim.

Another option for suing a city for emotional distress is through intentional infliction of emotional distress (IIED). This claim requires proving that the conduct by the city was extreme and outrageous and intentionally caused severe emotional suffering. For example, if a government agency intentionally harassed or discriminated against you, causing significant psychological harm, you may have a claim.

It’s important to note that there may be limitations on how much you can sue for emotional distress from a governmental entity. Statutory caps on damages might apply depending on the jurisdiction and type of claim being pursued. Therefore, it’s advisable to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer specializing in emotional distress cases who can guide you through these complexities.

While suing a city for emotional distress may present challenges due to sovereign immunity protection, it is not impossible under certain circumstances such as negligence or intentional misconduct by municipal employees or officials. Seeking legal advice from an attorney specializing in personal injury cases involving psychological harm will provide valuable guidance tailored to your specific situation.

Can I Sue My Landlord For Emotional Distress?

While it is possible to sue a landlord for emotional distress, several factors need to be considered. One crucial aspect is determining if the landlord’s actions were severe enough to cause significant emotional harm.

For instance, if a tenant has experienced repeated instances of harassment, invasion of privacy, or intentional infliction of emotional distress by the landlord, it could potentially form the basis for a lawsuit. However, minor inconveniences or isolated incidents may not be sufficient grounds for such a claim.

Another consideration is proving that the landlord’s behavior was negligent or intentional and directly caused emotional distress. This typically requires substantial evidence such as documentation of incidents, witness testimonies, or any relevant communication with the landlord.

Furthermore, some jurisdictions require tenants to demonstrate that they suffered severe emotional distress beyond what would reasonably be expected in normal rental situations. This means establishing that their mental anguish resulted in significant disruption in their daily lives or required professional treatment like therapy or counseling.

It is important to understand that suing for emotional distress can be challenging as it often involves subjective elements that can be difficult to quantify monetarily. However, if successful in proving their claims and establishing damages incurred due to emotional distress caused by their landlord’s actions, tenants may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses related to therapy or counselling and even non-economic damages like pain and suffering.

While it is possible to sue a landlord for causing emotional distress under certain circumstances, successfully pursuing such claims requires careful evaluation of various factors including the severity of harm endured, evidence supporting negligence or intentionality on the part of the landlord and its direct causal connection with resulting mental suffering, and the legal standards set forth by the specific jurisdiction. It is advisable for tenants to consult with an experienced attorney specializing in landlord-tenant disputes to assess the viability of their case and navigate the complex legal process effectively.

Can I Sue The Government For Emotional Distress?

When it comes to whether you can sue the government for emotional distress, the answer is often complex and varies depending on the jurisdiction. Generally speaking, governments enjoy certain immunities that protect them from lawsuits, including those based on emotional distress.

However, there are exceptions to this general rule. One common exception is when a government employee acts negligently or intentionally causes emotional harm.

In such cases, you may have grounds to sue the individual employee and possibly the government entity they represent. For example, if a police officer unjustifiably uses excessive force during an arrest and inflicts severe emotional distress upon the victim, a lawsuit against both the officer and their employing police department may be pursued.

Another scenario where suing the government for emotional distress may be possible is if there has been a violation of your constitutional rights. Government entities must uphold citizens’ constitutional rights, including protection against unreasonable searches and seizures, cruel and unusual punishment, or denial of due process.

If any governmental entity breaches these rights in such a way that causes significant emotional harm, you may have grounds for legal action. It is important to note that suing the government can be particularly challenging due to various legal doctrines like sovereign immunity or qualified immunity that aim to protect public officials from personal liability.

These doctrines limit individuals’ ability to sue public officials unless specific conditions are met. Therefore, it is crucial to consult with an experienced attorney who specializes in governmental liability cases if you believe you have legitimate grounds for suing the government for emotional distress.

Ultimately, whether or not you can successfully sue the government for emotional distress depends on numerous factors such as jurisdictional laws, specific circumstances surrounding your case, and available legal remedies. Consulting with an attorney will help determine your best action based on these factors while navigating through any potential obstacles posed by governmental immunities or limited liability protections.

Can I Sue My Doctor For Emotional Distress?

Suing a doctor for emotional distress can be a challenging process that requires proving negligence or misconduct on the part of the doctor. To establish a claim for emotional distress, you must first demonstrate that the doctor breached their duty of care towards you. This means showing that they failed to provide treatment up to the accepted medical standards or engaged in behaviour that caused harm or worsened your distress.

For example, if your doctor acted recklessly or showed deliberate indifference towards your well-being, such as verbally abusing you during appointments or withholding important medical information without a valid reason, it may constitute grounds for an emotional distress claim. However, it is necessary to establish a direct causal link between the doctor’s actions and your resulting emotional distress, which can be complex since emotional distress cases often involve subjective experiences and individual reactions.

To strengthen your claim, it may be beneficial to present evidence such as medical records showcasing how the doctor’s actions directly impacted your mental health or expert testimony from mental health professionals who can attest to the severity of your distress. Additionally, it is important to understand that some states have specific legal requirements when it comes to suing healthcare professionals for emotional distress. For instance, in certain states in the United States, there might be limitations on recovering damages solely based on emotional harm unless there was also physical injury involved.

Therefore, it is imperative to consult with an experienced attorney who is familiar with medical malpractice laws in your jurisdiction to help determine whether you have a viable case against your doctor. While suing a doctor for emotional distress can be challenging, it is not entirely impossible. It requires carefully gathering evidence of negligence or misconduct by the physician and establishing a clear causal connection between their actions and resultant emotional harm. Seeking guidance from a qualified attorney will prove invaluable in navigating the legal landscape and determining the strength of your case.


In conclusion, pursuing legal action for emotional distress necessitates a thorough understanding of personal injury law and the specific complexities associated with different entities, such as cities, landlords, the government, and healthcare professionals. Successfully suing requires a strong evidentiary foundation, demonstrating negligence or intentionality, and adhering to jurisdiction-specific standards. Consulting with an experienced attorney is crucial in navigating these complexities, ensuring a comprehensive approach, and enhancing the likelihood of a successful outcome.

If you or a loved one has suffered emotional distress and wants the help of experienced and empathetic lawyers, contact Perkins Law Offices at perkins@perkinslawoffices.com or call for a free, confidential case review at (855) 741 – LAWS (5297).