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Definition of Emotional Distress

Emotional distress refers to mental anguish and suffering including fear, indignity and shock. Damages for emotional distress may be recovered under some conditions in a personal injury claim but generally must be accompanied by physical injuries. Emotional distress may, under some conditions, be recovered without physical injury but a claimant would have to prove intentional infliction of emotional distress due to a defendant's actions which were "both extreme and outrageous" and caused physical harm. For instance, if someone's actions were so outrageous they caused you to miscarry your baby, for instance, you may not have suffered physical injury but there was physical harm.

If you are considering filing a personal injury claim and you have suffered emotional distress you need to talk to a personal injury lawyer. Injury claims must be filed within a specific time frame called the statute of limitations and failure to file within that time will eliminate your right to recovery.

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