Damages for emotional injury on its own can be difficult to obtain in North Carolina injury lawsuits. Emotional injury is generally recognized as harm to one’s emotional well-being, resulting from the negligent or intentional act of someone else.
There is no set statute that addresses the issue, but North Carolina courts have held that emotional injury may be compensable if:
- Claimant sustains some bodily injury in addition to the emotional injury;
- Witnessed bodily injury to or death of another person (particularly someone with whom claimant was especially close);
- The emotional injury can be classified as “severe and disabling.”
For example, a brother who witnesses his sister’s death in a horrific accident could potentially recover for damages, even if he himself wasn’t physically hurt. However, if he only learned about the accident after the fact or chose to watch a video recording of it, he likely won’t be able to recover. Continue reading