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Can I Sue My Insurance Company for Emotional Distress?

Grimes & Fertitta > Personal Injury  > Can I Sue My Insurance Company for Emotional Distress?

Can I Sue My Insurance Company for Emotional Distress?

Older woman in distress on the couch.

If your insurance company improperly denied your claim, you may be wondering “Can I sue my insurance company for emotional distress?”

The purpose of insurance companies is to provide you with peace of mind, vital services, and care when you need it most. Being denied services and care after paying your insurance premiums month after month can feel like a betrayal, and can cause serious emotional distress for policyholders who don’t get the compensation that they deserve.

Unfortunately, going up against the huge teams of attorneys and the inexhaustible resources of the insurance companies can make you feel like David going up against Goliath. Because they used to work for insurance companies, the Houston insurance lawyers at Grimes & Fertitta know just what you’re up against, as well as how and when the insurance companies will attempt to deny you what you deserve.

If you or a loved one has endured emotional distress, pain and suffering, or mental anguish at the hands of the insurance companies, call the lawyers who sue insurance companies at Grimes & Fertitta at (713) 224-7644 for representation.

What is emotional distress?

Before we talk about the specifics of suing an insurance company for emotional distress, we should first define emotional distress. Emotional distress, from a legal standpoint, is any mental anguish, pain and suffering, or emotional trauma that has been caused by whomever you are bringing a suit against. Some types of emotional distress more commonly seen in lawsuits include depression, anxiety, and PTSD.

Of the many types of damages in a lawsuit, damages for emotional distress would fall under general compensatory damages, along with other damages resulting from the overall harm that you have suffered that aren’t typically quantifiable.

Some other common types of general compensatory damages include long-term physical complications, future suffering or medical complications, and physical disfigurement or impairment that have impacted your quality of life.

The many reasons to sue the insurance company

There are a handful of scenarios in which you might have a legal basis for suing your insurance company. A few of the more common reasons are as follows.

Can I sue my insurance company for negligence?

Wondering “Can I sue my insurance company for taking too long?” You may be able to if they were negligent.

Suing an insurance company for negligence requires that they somehow violated their duty of care to you, either by violating their contract, wrongly denying a claim, or otherwise not fulfilling their obligation to you.

Can I sue my insurance company for bad faith?

Because insurance companies are legally required to act in good faith when handling all claims, if you believe your insurance company acted in bad faith, you may be able to sue them. Bad faith occurs when an insurer unreasonably denies a claim, fails to adequately investigate a claim, or uses any sort of deceptive practices.

Although there are differences between an insurer being negligent and an insurer acting in bad faith, both result in the same thing: you not getting the compensation that you deserve.

Can you sue your insurance company for pain and suffering?

If your insurance company’s negligence or bad faith has caused you emotional distress or pain and suffering, you may be able to take them to court and hold them accountable.

Emotional distress damages only come into play when the insurance company’s actions are particularly egregious, meaning you and your attorney will have to prove that they acted with particular malice or negligence in a way that harmed you far more than just the value of your erroneously denied claim.

How to sue an insurance company: first steps

Suing an insurance company after they wrongly denied your claim should be a simple process for you, with most of the complexities being sorted out by your personal injury attorney. The main steps involved in suing your insurance company are as follows:

  1. Gather evidence. Collect your insurance policy, claim correspondence, any communication between you and the insurance company, and any other documentation related to your claim. Additionally, any documentation or evidence related to the accident itself may prove vital to proving negligence of bad faith on the part of your insurance.
  2. Talk to an attorney. After you’ve gathered all the evidence that you can, consult with the best personal injury attorney that you can find. They can review the evidence and consult you on what to do next before actually filing a lawsuit and representing you in court.
  3. File a lawsuit. Typically, your attorney will first attempt to negotiate with the insurance company and inform them of your decision to take legal action. If the insurance company does not comply, your attorney will file a lawsuit and prepare to represent you in court.


It is entirely up to your attorney to prove that the insurance company wrongly denied your claim as well as, once it is established that the insurance company owes you personal injury damages, prove that you are owed damages for emotional distress.

Suing the insurance company for emotional distress? Make sure you’ve got the right lawyer

So, can I sue my insurance company for emotional distress? Yes — but those looking to sue an insurance company should be aware of the challenges and complexities, gather as much evidence as possible, and hire the best personal injury lawyer that they possibly can.

Although the path to receiving the compensation that you deserve may be a long one, you do not have to go at it alone. Personal injury attorneys exist not just to help you receive compensation, but to help you find closure and justice after a traumatic experience.

We’re here to help. Call the Houston personal injury attorneys at Grimes & Fertitta today at (713) 224-7644 or contact us online for a free consultation.

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