Negligent and Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress

Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress

Generally, negligent infliction of emotional distress occurs when a person’s actions are negligent and result in severe distress to another individual. Basically, the defendant’s actions were negligent, but not intentional, and resulted in emotion harm to another. The duty to avoid causing emotional distress to another may be breached when a person creates a risk of physical injury to another, by causing a threat of physical impact that leads to emotional distress or by directly causing severe emotional distress that is likely to result in physical symptoms. Generally, there has to be some type of physical injury associated with a claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress. However, there are a few instances in which courts have found no physical injury was required. These include wrongful report of a relative’s death and mishandling of a relative’s corpse. These two scenarios have been considered so egregious that courts have determined no physical injury is required. Additionally, if you are wrongly diagnosed with a terminal illness, you may have a claim for emotional distress without the need for injury. As far as a threat of impact, a person must be within the “zone of danger” created by the defendant. If you see someone injuring another person, you might not be considered in the zone of danger.

Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress

The elements to a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress are generally the following, (1) an act by defendant amounting to extreme and outrageous conduct, (2) intent or reckless behavior, (3) causation, and (4) damages. These cases are rarely filed because the burden is very high and the fact is, thankfully, that most people do not act in such extreme ways. When these cases do arise it often involved special victims such as the elderly, children, or pregnant women. This is conduct that transcends all bounds of decency. Proof of a physical injury is typically not required.

Do you have a claim?

Often a claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress is associated with other negligent claims arising out of any number of potential personal injury actions such as car accidents, work place accidents, etc. If you believe you have a claim for either negligent infliction of emotional distress or an intentional infliction of emotion distress claim, call and speak with a Utah Personal Injury Attorney out our office today.

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