The Value Of Emotional Distress
Federal anti-discrimination laws allow for a plaintiff-employee to be entitled to emotional distress damages; however, there is no specific statistical or numeric formula for calculating the amount of those damages. Thus, in order for your Lakeland employment lawyer to approximate what a jury will award you in emotional distress damages, a few factors will have to be taken into consideration.
First of all, your attorney will need to look closely at the stability of your underlying case. In other words, he or she will need to determine just how bad the discriminatory conduct of the defendant-employer really was. Also, he or she will have to examine the type of emotional distress you suffered and determine whether or not you exhibited any physical signs from it. Further, your attorney will look at how much counseling and/or medical treatment you had as a result of the discriminatory conduct, as well as the type of counseling and/or medical treatment that was provided.
A knowledgeable attorney will also want to know how long you had worked for the employer prior to being fired, as well as whether or not there were any other “stressors” that might have contributed to your emotional distress. If additional stressor existed, the defense might be able to use them as part of their argument at trial. That said, in some instances, you may want to consider getting a psychological or psychiatric evaluation, particularly if you have experienced severe emotional distress. Doing so will create a medical record in support of your claim for emotional distress damages and it will rule out any factors other than those related to harassment or discrimination in the workplace.
You should also note that many defendants and nearly all insurance carriers are reluctant to pay more than the bare minimum amount for emotional distress if you do not have any records to support your claim. Thus, if appropriate, your Lakeland employment lawyer might decide to have you examined by an expert immediately. This examination might prove to be helpful for mediation purposes, as well as to add support to your claim for emotional distress. If you need the services of a skilled Lakeland employment lawyer, please contact the Law Offices of Smith, Feddeler & Smith, P.A. for a free consultation.
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