After an accident in Kansas or Missouri, the most obvious injuries are often physical in nature, such as bone fractures or neck and back injuries.  However, an individual can also experience emotional distress and psychological injuries.  Emotional distress caused by another’s negligence is also recoverable in both Kansas and Missouri.

Emotional distress is defined as the mental harm that a person experiences after a traumatic event. Emotional distress can manifest as PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), depression, and anxiety which results in insomnia, anguish, and other issues.

Suffering an injury and the financial difficulty that results can take an emotional toll on anyone.  Our personal injury attorneys in Kansas City are here to help.  We’ll provide a free case evaluation, advise you on the best cause of action, and give you an estimate of the compensation you could potentially receive.  Call us today at (816) 203-0143 and talk to our personal injury attorneys in Missouri and Kansas to get the help you deserve.

Emotional Distress vs. Physical Injuries

distressed woman sitting on couchUnderstanding the difference between emotional distress and physical injuries is crucial when filing a lawsuit for personal injuries in Missouri. While both types of injuries can have a profound impact on a person's life, they are distinct in how they affect a person and how they are evaluated in a court of law. 

Physical injuries are often straightforward and can be easily identified. These are the injuries that can be seen, touched, or measured, such as a broken bone, a burn, or a laceration. They are typically supported by concrete evidence such as medical reports, X-rays, and photographs. 

In contrast, emotional distress is more subjective and harder to prove in court. Emotional distress refers to a mental or emotional trauma experienced by the plaintiff. It may include conditions such as anxiety, depression, sleeplessness, fear, or humiliation that have been caused by the defendant's actions. 

Car Accidents & Emotional Distress in MO & KS

If you were injured in a car accident, you may experience significant emotional distress that can have a profound effect on your everyday life. In bothMissouri or Kansas, you have the right to pursue compensation for emotional distress damages after an auto accident. 

Such damages are meant to compensate you for the mental or emotional suffering that you endure as a result of the accident. These may include anxiety, depression, loss of enjoyment of life, or even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Wrongful Death & Emotional Distress in MO & KS

The loss of a loved one due to wrongful death can be a traumatic and emotional experience. It's a disturbing event that can lead to severe emotional distress, potentially causing psychological harm. In such instances, Missouri and Kansas  law allows for the recovery of damages for emotional distress.

To recover emotional distress damages in wrongful death cases in Missouri and Kansas, you will likely need to prove the following: 

  • You are a statutory beneficiary and allowed to participate in a wrongful death claim under state law (this may include your status as  the spouse, children, or parents of the deceased).

  • The death was caused by the wrongful or negligent act of another.

  • You must have suffered emotional distress as a result of the death.

It is essential to understand that each case is unique and the amount of damages awarded for emotional distress will vary based on the specific circumstances of the case. 

How Do You Prove Emotional Distress?

Recovering money for emotional distress can be more difficult than getting compensation for your medical bills. You will need to prove that the accident caused emotional distress or psychological injury.

Here are some of the factors that you need to evaluate to support your claim; 

  • How intense is your emotional distress?
  • Do you have a doctor’s note to support your psychological distress claims?
  • How long have you been experiencing emotional distress?
  • What is the underlying cause of your emotional distress and is it related to the actions of the responsible party?

To prove emotional distress, it is helpful to have medical records and witness testimonies. Most people keep a personal journal during their recovery process and the journal helps them keep track of both their mental and emotional state. All of these documents can be useful in court. When you hire our personal injury attorney in Missouri and Kansas, we will help you gather this evidence and interview witnesses on your behalf while you can focus on your recovery.

How Much Can You Receive for Emotional Distress? 

The value of an accident claim in Kansas and Missouri will depend on a number of factors, including the severity of your injuries. This is also true with a claim for emotional distress. Emotional Distress can result in an individual having problems in their day-to-day life, including work, school, and their relationships with others. It can also result in long-term financial effects. 

Under Missouri and Kansas law, there is no set formula for calculating emotional distress damages.  This does not make it easy to put a value on how much an individual should receive for their pain. 

If your case goes to trial, the jury will need to hear about your mental health and general lifestyle both before and after the accident.  Your attorney will need to show how your quality of life was reduced after injuries from the accident.  It is important to show how your injuries have affected you both physically and mentally.


Call Our Kansas City Personal Injury Attorney Today

Getting recovery for an emotional distress claim can be a complicated process. There are a lot of facts that need to be carefully reviewed and the psychological impact caused by the accident and injuries evaluated.

The whole process of pursuing your claim can be tricky.  This is especially true if you're still healing from both physical and mental pain.  Asserting a legal claim can be time-consuming and small mistakes can be expensive.  Hiring our Kansas City personal injury attorney to help you who’ll walk you through every step of the process improves your chances of recovering the compensation you deserve.

Call us today at 816-203-0143 or through our online contact form for a free consultation to get the help you need.  You can also instantly download our free book Top 10 Ways to Maximize Your Injury Claim.  We're here to help and on your side.


Kevin J. McManus
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Kevin McManus is an accident injury and disability lawyer in Kansas City, MO, and Overland Park, KS