Understanding Nevada Emotional Distress Lawsuits

Accident victims who are injured in Nevada — or anywhere else in the country — may be entitled to recover monetary compensation. There are two forms of monetary damages — economic and non-economic. Typically, the accident victim is the one who sues for emotional distress damages in a Nevada personal injury lawsuit. Notably, in some circumstances the spouse or offspring who has a close relationship with the accident victim and who witnessed their loved one involved in a particularly gruesome accident could file a lawsuit based on emotional distress. 

Economic or Non-Economic Damages?

Typically, accident victims may recover compensatory damages resulting from harm suffered, which include both economic and non-economic damages. A Nevada court can award both types of monetary compensation to make the injured plaintiff “whole” again. In other words, an injured plaintiff can recover payment to cover losses and expenses that they would not have experienced but for the accident. Economic damages include losses that can be easily calculated such as property damage, medical expenses, and loss of earnings, among others. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, include losses that are intangible such as loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress, and loss of consortium, among others. While non-economic damages do not have a concrete monetary price, this type of harm does take a toll on its victims. Often referred to as “pain and suffering,” emotional distress damages are aimed to compensate an accident victim for harm that would not have been suffered but for the accident. 

Who Can Recover Emotional Distress Damages

While damages due to emotional distress are meant to compensate accident victims for physical pain endured, in many cases a plaintiff may recover non-economic damages for pain and suffering even without establishing a physical injury. Moreover, sometimes a person who is related to the victim can recover compensation for emotional distress. 

There are several signs of emotional distress that come with (or without) a physical injury or loss of a loved one due to an accident. Seeking help from a mental health provider when you first notice signs of emotional distress will not only help you cope with these issues, but will also help provide the evidence needed to recover compensation in a lawsuit claiming emotional distress. These may include:

  • Change in eating or sleeping habits;
  • Decrease in energy;
  • Feeling helpless, hopeless, or guilty but not knowing why;
  • Experiencing unexplained stomach aches, headaches, and other pains;
  • Not doing the things you used to love doing;
  • Inability to readjust to work or home life post-accident;
  • Constantly worrying;
  • Suicidal thoughts or plans;
  • Thoughts of hurting or killing others; or
  • Turning to drinking, illegal drugs, prescription medications, or excessive smoking.


In some cases that are particularly tragic, a child who is in or who witnesses an accident may display signs of emotional distress. These signs include becoming aggressive, sudden difficulty with concentration, a loss of desire to play with friends, disinterest in usual activities, wanting more attention from adults, among others. 

Contact Our Attorneys

Emotional trauma is serious. This is particularly true for children, who are more vulnerable than adults. If you, your children, or a loved one has been in an accident or witnessed an accident in Nevada, seek mental health treatment as soon as possible. Then, contact the skilled attorneys at H&P Law to learn about your rights and obligations under applicable law. Our experienced personal injury lawyers will walk you through every step of the process and fight for the monetary compensation you deserve. 

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