Following a serious personal injury or medical malpractice event, victims may be left facing a variety of extreme hardships including overwhelming hospital bills, ongoing medical treatment, physical pain, and long term emotional suffering. Although nothing can take back the harm done, the laws gives injury victims the legal right to recover compensation from those who caused the accident.
Restatement (Third) of Torts, sec. 46:
§ 46 Negligent Conduct Directly Inflicting Emotional Disturbance on Another
An actor whose negligent conduct causes serious emotional
disturbance to another is subject to liability to the other if the
(a) places the other in immediate danger of bodily harm and the
emotional disturbance results from the danger; or
(b) occurs in the course of specified categories of activities,
undertakings, or relationships in which negligent conduct is
especially likely to cause serious emotional disturbance.
DC injury laws allow victims to recover compensation for both pecuniary damages (monetary) and non-monetary damages for pain and suffering, including emotional distress. Washington, DC courts have outlined several types of cases where victims can recover damages for emotional distress, including: