California Law on Emotional Distress

Have you been injured recently and are now dealing with unexpected medical appointments and expenses? You might be entitled to a certain amount of compensation and damages depending on how and where you were injured. If you experienced psychological trauma due to an injury, you may be entitled to damages for emotional distress.

If you’re looking to work with a California attorney to help with your personal injury case, it’s important to understand California law on emotional distress.

In order to claim emotional damages, there must have been an intentional infliction of emotional distress involving one of the following elements:

Outrageous Conduct

It must be proven that the defendant inflicting harm did so in a manner that was “extreme and outrageous.” This might include a pattern of violent behavior as opposed to an isolated incident, abuse of a position of power, or performing heinous acts that would outrage most people.

If the person who hurt you has a pattern of acting out and causing harm to others, or abused their authority over you in order to harm you, we can help you.

Intent or Gross Recklessness

It must be proven that the defendant intended to cause harm to the plaintiff or that they acted with reckless disregard for the plaintiff’s safety, fully aware that the plaintiff could be harmed in the process.

Your California attorney can help prove that the person who did you harm did so intentionally and without concern for your well-being or others around.

Severe Emotional Distress

It must be proven that the plaintiff is suffering from extreme distress or trauma in the aftermath of the incident.

We understand you’re going through a difficult time, so it’s a good idea to see a therapist or psychiatrist to help you work through your distress.


It must be proven that the defendant’s actions are directly correlated with the plaintiff’s injury, trauma, and emotional distress.

Essentially, there must be a cause and effect between your injury and emotional trauma.

Common emotional distress causes are auto accidents involving drugs or alcohol, assault and battery, sexual assault, product liability, or wrongful termination of employment.

At The May Firm, we have find the right attorneys for you to help you win your emotional distress case. When you’re suffering from emotional trauma after a serious injury, you need all of the help, healing, and rest you can get.