Can You Sue for Harassment and Emotional Distress?

There is a four-prong legal test that determines whether or not you can sue for emotional distress and harassment. If someone’s harassment of you at work, threats by a romantic partner or stalking make you afraid for your safety, or the safety of your child or someone close to you- you can take legal action. Laws vary by state when it comes to suing for emotional distress, so it may be a good idea to contact an attorney before you pursue litigation.

Reckless/Intentional Behavior

In order to prove that you are emotionally distressed, you must prove that the person who is harassing you was acting recklessly or intended to harass you. For example, if the person wrote you letters in which he/she threatened to kill you, that proves intentional behavior. Additionally, if he/she prank called you, telling you that someone you love is dead, this recklessness could hold up in civil court for an emotional distress lawsuit- even though /she may not have planned to cause you emotional distress.

Outrageous/Extreme Conduct

harassmentIn order to meet the criteria for emotional distress due to harassment, you must be able to prove that the actions of the person harassing you were extreme or outrageous. There is no single definition of this particular form of behavior. However, under the law, extreme/outrageous behavior is more than simply annoying or impolite behavior. Extreme/outrageous behavior goes beyond what is normally accepted in society. For instance, if someone is repeatedly calling to harass you or is degrading you in public, or trying to upset you enough to quit your job, this is considered extreme/outrageous conduct.

Emotional Distress Causes

In order to sue someone for emotional distress, you must be able to prove that the harassment was, in fact, what caused your emotional distress. For example, if you were already dealing with severe emotional distress due to being robbed, and then had to deal with harassment, there’s no way to prove that the harassment either caused or contributed to your emotional distress. On the other hand, if you were in good mental health prior to being harassed, chances are you will be able to sue for emotional distress. Mental health can be proven by providing psychological and medical records.

Severity of the Harm Caused

Need an accident lawyer? Contact baytown personal injury lawyer Hugh Howerton. The best car accident lawyer houston has to offer. When you’re suing someone for causing you emotional distress due to harassment, you must be able to prove that the distress was extreme. Things such as worry, anxiety, or upset don’t really meet this criteria- unless of course, they require you to be under the care of a psychiatrist. Passing distress that solves on its own does not meet this criteria. If, on the other hand, the harm caused was so severe it could cause a sane person mental and emotional distress, you could still able to sue if you have mental health issues such as panic attacks or depression.

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