In Florida, it is possible to collect for negligent infliction of emotional distress following a car accident, but it is not as simple as suffering emotional harm. In order to collect compensation for such damages, plaintiff must suffer a discernible physical injury.
One of the exceptions noted is what other jurisdictions refer to as the “relative bystander test.” This requires the plaintiff to suffer a physical injury caused by the psychological trauma of witnessing, seeing or otherwise being involved in some way to the event causing negligent injury to another to whom plaintiff has a close personal relationship.
The case of Clifton v. McCammack recently dealt with the issue of negligent infliction of emotional distress under Indiana law. That state is one of those that refers to the exception as the “bystander rule.” There are three circumstantial factors that must be met in order for plaintiff to succeed in a claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress. One of those three factors is “direct involvement” in the incident. Continue reading →