In the city of San Luis Obispo, bicycle accident victims can claim emotional distress damages when there are resultant physical damages. The law does not allow for the filing of emotional distress compensation when no injury has been suffered.
The state of California dictates when a person may claim emotional injury or distress. In order to be awarded emotional distress damages, a plaintiff must be able to prove the following four elements:
- Outrageous conduct. The person who is found to be at fault in the incident must have been acting in a way considered extreme and outrageous. In other words, it must be proven that the defendant must be proven to have a pattern of behavior, is in a position of authority, or performed acts that would be considered outrageous by a reasonable person.
- Intent or gross recklessness. The defendant must have intended to cause harm or acted in a way that was reckless.
- Severe emotional distress. The plaintiff must have more than just hurt feelings. The emotional distress must be intense enough that it would be more than simply upsetting to a typical person.
- Causation. The emotional distress must have been caused by the incident. That is, the substantial factor of the emotional distress was, in this case, the bicycle accident.
Not every victim can legally seek damages for emotional distress. An experienced attorney can assist bicycle accident victims in determining if they have the four elements necessary for this type of civil lawsuit.