(310) 659-4900


Recovery For Your Injuries

For over 25 years, our trial lawyers have been successfully litigating personal injury and wrongful death cases on behalf of injured plaintiffs, their families, and insurers. Our attorneys routinely obtain substantial verdicts at trial and negotiated settlements for our clients.

No matter the circumstances of your injury, we have the experience to bring a strong injury lawsuit against all liable defendants on your behalf.

If you or a member of your family has been injured by the wrongful acts of another, you no doubt have many questions about your ability to seek redress in the California state courts. First and foremost, because personal injury cases are all about holding wrongdoers accountable for their actions through the imposition of financial payments to the injured plaintiff, you may be wondering what type of financial recovery is available. Beyond the cost of medical bills and lost wages, an injured victim may be entitled to so-called “emotional damages” or “psychological damages” in many cases. Although these are not the terms a court would necessarily use, they are nonetheless available in personal injury cases. Below we take a look at the types of circumstances in which such emotional and psychological damages would be validly sought:

Pain and Suffering in a Personal Injury Case

The most common type of emotional damages are sought in a personal injury case where a plaintiff has suffered a physical injury, such as in a car or truck accident, a product liability case, an intentionally violent act like assault, or any other type of injury that might have caused the plaintiff to seek medical attention and/or miss work. In such cases, the plaintiff can sue for “pain and suffering” damages which are the psychological damages associated with enduring the physical injury. Estimating and proving the full range of pain and suffering damages to the court in a manner that a judge and jury find compelling can be extremely challenging, but this is where an experienced personal injury attorney can be invaluable in making such arguments.

Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress

Whereas a plaintiff would be required to show a purely physical injury in a regular personal injury case, a plaintiff who has not necessarily suffered a physical injury can sue a defendant for psychological suffering, severe or reckless disregard of the probability of causing emotional distress. In order to win such a claim, a plaintiff needs to prove that:
The defendant engaged in “outrageous conduct”
The defendant intended to cause emotional distress or acted with reckless disregard of the possibility of emotional distress occurring
The plaintiff has suffered emotional distress

Courts are generally more likely to find a valid claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress where the defendant’s conduct is particularly outrageous.

Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress

California courts can also award damages for emotional distress where the defendant acted negligently and a plaintiff suffered “serious emotional distress” as a result. The types of emotional distress that a court would look for include “suffering, anguish, fright, horror, nervousness, grief, anxiety, worry, shock, humiliation, and shame,” and the courts have stated that, “Serious emotional distress exists if an ordinary, reasonable person would be unable to cope with it.”

Experienced Los Angeles Litigators For Your Emotional / Psychological Damage Claim

At the McElfish Law Firm, our trial lawyers have been successfully litigating personal injury and emotional distress claims on behalf of injured plaintiffs, their families, and insurers for over 25 years. Our attorneys routinely obtain substantial verdicts at trial and negotiated settlements for our clients. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your claim. [/one_half_last]

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Verdict won on behalf of worker blinded by exploding battery.


Call our offices at (310) 659-4900, our 24-hour hotline at (800) 750-8946, or email us to set up a free consultation.


Los Angeles

1112 N. Sherbourne Drive West Hollywood, CA 90069

Phone: (310) 659-4900

Fax: (310) 659-4926


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