Can I Sue for Emotional Distress in a Personal Injury Case in Vermont?

Sustaining injuries in an accident can lead to physical pain and suffering, medical bills, and other expenses. What many people do not realize is that they are also entitled to compensation for emotional distress. Emotional distress encompasses the psychological and emotional harm caused by the accident, such as depression, anxiety, etc. In Vermont, you can sue for emotional distress in a personal injury case, but the process can be complex.

Understanding Emotional Distress and Personal Injury

Emotional distress is an injury, just like a physical injury. Therefore, you can claim emotional distress compensation in a personal injury lawsuit in Vermont. However, proving emotional distress requires expert testimony, medical records, and other evidence.

Types of Emotional Distress

There are two types of emotional distress: intentional infliction and negligent infliction. Intentional infliction occurs when an individual intentionally causes emotional harm. This type of emotional distress is rare and challenging to prove in court. Negligent infliction, on the other hand, occurs when an individual is negligent, leading to emotional distress.

How to Prove Emotional Distress in a Vermont Personal Injury Case

To prove emotional distress, an individual must show that the defendant caused the harm. Victims must demonstrate that they experienced severe emotional distress, such as severe anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In Vermont, the state’s courts use a three-prong test to evaluate and determine if there is emotional distress. The criteria include:

  • The severity of the emotional distress caused to the plaintiff
  • The conduct or actions of the defendant
  • Causation, in which the defendant’s action caused the plaintiff’s emotional distress

The courts evaluate the facts of the case to determine whether the plaintiff’s emotional distress is a direct result of the defendant’s negligence. Once the plaintiff has shown that the defendant is responsible for their emotional distress, compensation may be awarded.

Factors Affecting Emotional Distress Compensation

The amount of compensation awarded for emotional distress depends on various factors, such as:

  • The extent of emotional distress experienced by the plaintiff
  • The relationship between the parties involved in the case
  • The plaintiff’s age and vulnerability
  • The defendant’s conduct leading to emotional distress
  • The duration of the emotional distress and its effects on the plaintiff’s life.


In Vermont, an individual can sue for emotional distress in a personal injury case. However, demonstrating this type of damage requires expert testimony and supporting evidence, as it can be challenging to prove in court. Consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney in Vermont can ensure you receive the maximum compensation for your emotional distress caused by a personal injury. Reach out to a reliable attorney today to help you navigate the complexities of personal injury cases that involve emotional distress.

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