Does Personal Injury Include Emotional Distress?

Personal Injury Can Involve More Than The Physical

When you think of personal injury, you may think of a car accident, a dog bite, or some other scenario where someone is physically injured. However, these physical injuries can also be accompanied by mental and emotional injuries. In some situations, there may be no physical injury, but an event may still be traumatic enough to cause emotional distress.

So, is that emotional distress something that you can sue for and recover from in the eyes of the law?

In the state of Kentucky, the answer is yes. While some states have what is called the “impact rule,” which requires that someone be physically “impacted” or injured to recover for emotional distress, Kentucky got rid of this rule in 2012. Now, if you have been impacted by someone’s negligent actions and you have suffered emotional distress, you can bring a claim against them. This is the case even if you have not sustained any physical injuries.

Not So Fast..

In order to recover for emotional distress in Kentucky, there must be proof of negligence, meaning that someone had a duty towards you, they breached that duty, and their breach of duty caused your injury. Additionally, recovery for emotional distress requires that the emotional distress be so severe or serious that no reasonable person could endure it. To prove that emotional distress is severe or serious, there must be expert medical testimony or scientific proof that shows the severity of the emotional distress.