Can I Sue for Non-physical Injury?

Yes, you can sue for a non-physical injury. In most circumstances, suing for physical damage is pretty straightforward, as there is evident harm. However, there is no evidence of bodily injury in non-physical injuries. Most of these injuries have an emotional aspect, hurting as much as the physical injuries.

The non-physical injuries would more often than not result in severe emotional distress, suffering, being isolated from the people that you love, losing jobs, and, in the process, loss of income and wages. It follows that in much as the injuries are non-physical, evidence for the non-physical injuries can also be proven. A personal injury lawyer can play a crucial role in this context. Because these are non-physical injuries that may not leave physical evidence, you must collect enough proof necessary to establish the damages and losses that emanate from the non-physical injury. With the expertise of a personal injury lawyer, it becomes feasible to effectively document and argue for the recognition and compensation of these intangible damages in a court of law or in settlement negotiations.

It is important to note that if you decide to pursue compensation for the non-physical injury, you shall be eligible to receive compensation. In most instances, the compensation that you shall seek and may receive shall include compensation for the lost wages and income, compensation for medical expenses if you ended up having to require some medical intervention to help you deal with the distress that is common for non-physical injury victims and in some other instances punitive damages which must be prayed for and proven.

Non-physical injury claims

The most common form of non-physical injury claims in California is defamation. Defamation is classified into slander and libel. We will look at the two common types of defamation in the paragraphs below.


This type of defamation is principally committed by way of mouth. It should be noted that words have a very intense effect on their victims as they would, in most instances, result in severe distress. One commits the offense of slander when they decide to destroy another person’s reputation by accusing them of criminal acts or bringing down their victim’s reputation by word of mouth.

For the verbal statements to constitute slander, the statements that the defendant said must be words perceived by the person hearing the statements as factual. Therefore, the people who listened to the accounts must treat them as accurate. If the people who attended the words did not perceive them as being with a factual basis, it would be challenging to get compensation for the same.

It should also be noted that a significant portion of the negative statements that could be made against a person or, in certain instances, the embarrassing accounts of a person may not be classified as being slander, as most of them would be covered by the freedom of speech. Therefore, compensating them would be challenging as they would be treated as not slanderous statements.

It should be noted that the statement that one deems slanderous must be treatable as being very severe in its conclusive state. The information should have the unmistakable effect of damaging the reputation of its victim in a straightforward but also resolute nature.

Suppose you would want to succeed on the claim for slander. In that case, you must prove that the defamatory statements directly damaged you, that the words were false, that the comments were derogatory, and that they directly resulted in damage.


Libel is the other form of defamation. This type of defamation can be treated as more severe than slander defamation. However, it is much easier to prove defamation by way of libel than defamation by form of slander.

In its basic definition, libel is the defamatory portrayal of a person, an institution, or any other entity by way of writing or any other published format, such as by way of a film or any other recorded means. By this, it is an essential requirement of libel that the statement must be defamatory and that the same has been reduced into writing, produced by way of a film, or published through any other means.

In California, the First Amendment generally protects the freedom of expression. Because of this, the act of defamation does not, in its general nature, include all the published opinions, but the portrayal must consist of a statement accusing someone of a crime or any other accusation that may have huge ramifications on a person’s reputation.

It follows from the above that if one charges another person for libel, the accuser must ensure that they provide evidence indicating that the statement that one considers libellous was published or reproduced through any digital means. It must also be demonstrated that the victim’s damages directly emanated from the defendant’s comments.

In most instances, the person who has been defamed is entitled to receive compensation. However, it is essential to prove to you that the defamation occurred. One must also prove that the damages they suffered directly resulted from the defamatory statements.

Factors that may affect the decision to sue or not to sue for non-physical injury


it should be noted that the laws in California dictate that one is required to institute a suit for defamation within one year. Section 340(c) of the California Code of Civil Procedure expressly provides for this timeline. It follows from this provision that you will need to make sure that you file your defamation lawsuit within one year of its happening. If you do not do so, and there is no legally excusable fact, you shall not be entitled to compensation.

The defences of the other side

So that you know, the evidence that the other party will produce in response to your demand letter will broadly impact your decision to file a lawsuit. You’ll need to carefully look over these responses to avoid pursuing a case with no chance of success.

The advice of a personal injury lawyer

It is important to note that the advice that the personal injury lawyer shall give you shall influence your decision on whether to proceed with the suit. Because of their experience and training, a personal injury attorney can advise you on the best way forward.

Should you hire a lawyer when deciding to sue for non-physically injuries?

It is vital to note that you should engage a personal injury lawyer to stand a chance at getting compensation for non-physical injuries. As indicated above, the chances of a non-physical lawsuit succeeding boil down to the amount of evidence one has supporting their case. It follows from this that further to have the proof, you must have an attorney who shall be able to package the evidence in such a manner as to ensure that you are successful.

Just like in a car accident claim and a property damage claim, you must engage the services of an experienced car accident attorney to stand a chance of succeeding. The lawyer you hire shall ensure you have enough evidence similar to what would have been required when dealing with physical injuries in a car accident lawsuit. The car accident lawyer shall also ensure that they engage with the insurance company to get you a sufficient amount of compensation for the serious injury from the accident. Over and beyond reading various car accident blog posts, you must contact a lawyer and have a conversation about your issues.


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