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Can I Sue My Insurance Company for Emotional Distress?

January 03, 2024

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Home » Blog » Can I Sue My Insurance Company for Emotional Distress?

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Unpaid bills, mounting debt, and uncertainty are a way of life for policyholders who cannot get the insurance benefits they are entitled to. Serious health events, tornadoes, storms, or the passing of a loved one can put a person or family in a compromising financial situation when insurance coverage is denied. After losing the person they love or their home to a devastating event, the last thing people need is an insurance company purposely stalling a payout.

The clients we serve are often at their wit’s end and emotionally and financially drained — something we can empathize with as we know the inner workings of unethical insurers and how they negatively affect people. After months of relentless effort and no results, you might wonder if there is another way.

Fighting unethical insurance companies and holding them accountable is what we do at Wallace Law. We are devoted to getting people and small businesses results after months of distress and failed attempts to get paid for their coverage. There are usually telltale signs of negligent claims practices: We can help you decide if suing for emotional distress is the right move for you.

What is Emotional Distress?

Emotional distress is an unfortunate side effect of bad faith insurance tactics, like claim denials and delays or underpaid claims. Emotional distress is a highly unpleasant reaction to stress and trauma. It is rarely ever simple, nor does it manifest the same in every single person.

Signs and symptoms of emotional distress might include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Guilt, shame, fear, or paranoia
  • Panic attacks
  • Irritability
  • Drastic weight changes like extreme gains or losses
  • Sudden outbursts of anger or sadness
  • Physical symptoms like chronic headaches or migraines and digestive issues

Emotional distress because of an insurance company’s intentional negligence can harm a person long after the claims process is over. Wallace Law can review your case and determine if an emotional distress lawsuit is in order.

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Who Can File an Emotional Distress Claim?

There are valid reasons for filing an emotional distress claim, but it depends on the circumstances. Insurers that fail to pay legitimate claims can cause people unnecessary emotional distress and harm, but not every claim denial is grounds for an emotional distress lawsuit.

Bad faith actions are personal. In serious cases, with enough proof of wrongdoing, a policyholder might want to pursue non-economic damages such as pain, suffering, and emotional distress with the help of an experienced insurance dispute attorney.

People might file emotional distress claims after undergoing delays or denial of insurance benefits for expensive medical treatments or have significant property repair or renovation needs after an unexpected catastrophic disaster.

However, suing for emotional distress damages in a denied claim situation is no easy feat. The courts do not want to entertain trivial or fraudulent emotional distress claims. Sometimes, courts require proof of physical injuries or evidence of danger to consider non-economic damages.

A well-qualified insurance dispute attorney must prove the insurance company purposely denied or underpaid your claim and caused you emotional distress in the process. Only then it is possible to recover economic and non-economic damages.

Filing an Emotional Distress Lawsuit

Insurance policies are legally binding contracts. If an insurer fails to comply with its obligations and uses different strategies to stall a payout, policyholders can file an emotional distress lawsuit.

Suing an insurance company for emotional distress might require the following action items:

  • Gather evidence to demonstrate any emotional or physical damages and injuries to support the claim or appeal.
  • Contact your insurance company and request an internal investigation. Keep copies of claim denials and any communication regarding your claim or appeal.
  • File a federal or state court case against the insurance company for bad faith, emotional distress, contract breach, or fraud.

In some claim cases involving emotional distress damages and bad faith insurance practices, emotional distress is considered the anxiety caused by financial deprivation, which is directly linked to the nonpayment of a claim. An attorney that understands these types of cases and unethical insurance practices can effectively represent you and bargain with your insurance company before it goes to court.

How to Prove Emotional Distress

Emotional distress, or mental suffering, is caused by another’s intentional, harmful, and negligent actions. An insurance agent that intentionally stalls, rejects, or denies an insurance claim using deceitful tactics could make a possible case for emotional distress.

  • Document any signs or symptoms of emotional distress and details like pain levels, frequency of occurrences, and anything else that hinders your quality of life.
  • Enlist the help of your doctor so you have records and testimony from a medical expert.
  • Seek therapy to treat your mental health conditions, like depression or anxiety, so that you can show evidence of emotional distress and its impact on your life.
  • Keep copies of any prescriptions as physical evidence of your emotional distress.
  • Contact an insurance dispute lawyer to review your case, like any communication with your insurer and copies of denials and other information regarding the claim. A lawyer can use the evidence to prepare for trial or work to negotiate a settlement on your behalf.

A well-trained insurance dispute lawyer should know several key factors in recovering damages for emotional distress, such as the duration of the pain and severity of symptoms, among other things. Proving emotional distress is a challenge, but it can be done.

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Can an Insurance Dispute Lawyer Help Me?

Big insurance companies have nothing to lose and only money to gain when they cheat policyholders out of their insurance benefits, as they have power and resources that people and small businesses do not. Bad faith insurance companies are not going anywhere anytime soon: Trends suggest bad faith claims are on the rise.

While many states are looking into removing more hurdles for policyholders, there will continue to be a need for legal advocates like Wallace Law to help people combat unfair claims practices. Our firm works with policyholders who are sick and tired of getting nowhere with their insurance company.

Unbeknownst to many, sometimes insurers only respond and are willing to negotiate when attorneys get involved. They know they can take advantage of policyholders unfamiliar with the insurance world’s inner workings. We fight to get policyholders the compensation they deserve after they jump through months of unnecessary hoops with nothing to show for it.

You’re Not Alone in this Fight: Contact Wallace Law Today

Wallace Law focuses on one thing and one thing only: getting the job done for defeated policyholders and making insurance companies pay their fair share. After years of representing big corporations and insurance companies, Justin Wallace founded Wallace Law to make a big difference for people and small businesses that bad faith insurance companies often overlook and take advantage of.

Every day is another opportunity to help policyholders clear hurdles and get the money they rightfully deserve after insurance companies refuse to fulfill their legal obligations. We serve clients nationwide and handle property, life, travel, and health insurance disputes.

The immediate benefit of working with us is we know precisely how insurers operate, and we can use this knowledge to add value to your case. Retaining the services of an experienced lawyer will likely be a breath of fresh air after months of stagnant results. It is time to draw this story to a close and get back to living your life.

Contact us today for a free case review, and get your financial future back on track.


Suing for Emotional Distress: FAQs

What is bad faith insurance?

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My long-term care was denied. Can I sue for emotional distress?

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What is the most you can sue for emotional distress?

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What is negligent infliction of emotional distress?

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Can I afford an insurance dispute attorney?

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