Michigan Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress

Michigan Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress

by / Thursday, 16 January 2014 / Published in Goodwin & Scieszka, Personal Injury

We recently wrote about the intentional infliction of emotional distress in Michigan. Today, we’re going to inform you about its close cousin: negligent infliction of emotional distress.

First, let’s start by defining the requirements in a negligence case: 1) a duty, 2) a breach of that duty, 3) causation (both proximate cause and factual cause), and 4) damages.

Negligent infliction of emotional distress involves distress due to a person’s negligent act, but doesn’t require physical suffering on the part of the victim. There are 3 types of negligent infliction of emotional distress:

Rodney Dangerfield wearing a red tie and black coat looking stressed out

Near miss: The defendant acted negligently, and though the plaintiff isn’t physically injured, he or she is emotionally distressed by the incident. For example, Paul blows through a stop sign and comes within 10 inches of hitting a pregnant woman. The near accident causes extreme anxiety, which causes the lady to have a miscarriage. In order to prevail in this case, the woman must prove:

1. She was in the zone of physical danger
2. A subsequent manifestation of her distress

The woman couldn’t just say that she was losing sleep as a result of the incident. She needs a physical manifestation of her distress; something concrete to proves the emotional damage was real. A miscarriage would certainly qualify for that.

Bystander claims: A negligent person injured one of your loved ones and you witnessed the event. Proving this requires:

1. A familial relationship:
a. Spouse
b. Kid
c. Parent
2. The event was perceived as it happened or fairly contemporaneously

For example, you’re working in your garden and witness your child getting hit by a car. You heard the car slam on its brakes and instantly turned around to see your child being tossed across the road. You have a case because this was a traumatizing experience and you were a bystander.

Highly foreseeable careless conduct that induces stress: this form of negligence results because of a business relationship with the negligent party, such as being caretaker or another position in which you’re entrusted with the person’s well-being. For example, the funeral parlor displays the wrong cadaver at your mom’s funeral.

Goodwin & Scieszka has been delivering justice for victims of personal injuries for over 30 years. If you’ve been injured in the Detroit or Metro Detroit area, our Southfield, Michigan personal injury firm is here for you.

We handle the following types of injuries, plus many more.

1. Assault and battery claims
2. Dog bites and other animal attacks
3. Slip and falls
4. Assault and battery claims
5. Car, motorcycle, snowmobile collisions
6. Defective products

Be sure to check back often, as we continually update our blog with insight into Michigan law, tips to avoid injuries we commonly defend, and Detroit area personal injury news.

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If you have been injured in any type of accident, contact us immediately by phone or email. You pay nothing until we take your case to trial or settle. With over 30 years of litigation experience representing the “little guy” against the largest insurance companies, corporations, and hospitals, we’ll get you the money you deserve.

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