Do You Have A Case For Intentional Infliction Of Emotional Distress?

Did someone cause you emotional or mental harm? Do you still suffer from effects like post-traumatic stress disorder or anxiety from the incident? Then you may have a personal injury case for intentional infliction of emotional distress (IIED). What is this tort? Here are the four components to help you understand if you have a claim. 

1. Intent or Reckless Disregard

A tort is the intentional or negligent harm of another person. Therefore, to be a tort, IIED must have some element of negligence or intent to it. The person should have known that their action would cause serious emotional or mental harm, or that such harm was likely. Their act may be intentional, but it may also be a reckless disregard for the harm it could cause. 

2. Outrageous Actions

Unfortunately, it's not entirely uncommon that someone deliberately wants to cause distress to another. It could range from a bully at school to your boss who humiliates you in front of co-workers.

To rise to the level of IIED, the action must have been objectively outrageous by societal norms. For example, a crematorium that knowingly mingles ashes could be acting in a way that is considered so far beyond the norm of behavior that most people would agree it's outrageous. 

3. Severe Emotional Distress

As with most personal injury claims, you must show that you have been harmed by the act. In the case of IIED, this injury isn't necessarily physical. The emotional distress can exist alone, such as from an ex who posts intimate photos of you to all your social media friends. However, the distress can also be part of a physical personal injury case. 

Whatever caused it, the distress must be severe. It has caused lasting harm, perhaps resulting in the need for therapy, and has affected your normal enjoyment of life. 

4. Distress Caused by the Act

Finally, you'll demonstrate that your distress was caused by the reckless act. The defendant, for instance, may argue that your anxiety disorder was caused by a stressful job rather than them posting your photos online. 

However, the distress may still qualify if it exacerbates an existing condition. A minor who experienced IIED while being self-conscious during puberty can still successfully argue that the IIED made normal puberty problems unmanageable. 

Where to Start

Intentional infliction of emotional distress can be hard to prove. But it may be the best route to getting the compensation you deserve to move on. Find out how by meeting with a qualified personal injury attorney today.