How do courts value the cost of emotional distress for personal injury cases?
The types of damages that can be awarded by a court in a personal injury claim include both damages and moral damages. Most often, claims for damages are asserted, which are also referred to as economic damage, as they can be easily quantified. Compensation can be claimed for medical costs, therapy costs, transport costs, increased living costs, loss of wages, expenses etc. caused by the personal injury inflicted on you.
In addition to claims for damages that are easy to identify and quantify, further claims for damages in the form of moral damage or claims for damages due to emotional and emotional stress on the victim can be asserted.
What constitutes emotional stress:
Personal injury cases are often filed from a legal standpoint to help the victim recover any harm done to them. This damage also includes the mental anguish or the mental stress of a victim. For example, due to personal injury, an injured person may no longer be able to participate in certain activities or may no longer be able to enjoy life as it was before the accident. Emotional distress can also be reflected in physiological states such as depression, insomnia, states of post-traumatic stress disorder, etc. These types of harm, by their nature, cannot be easily quantified and therefore must be determined by the courts based on the particular circumstances of the emotional distress inflicted on a particular victim.
The courts of the United Arab Emirates allow a plaintiff to seek “moral damages” in addition to damages in order to compensate for the emotional burden inflicted on him. In the United Arab Emirates, the victim is awarded moral compensation and, in the event of fatal injury, compensation is given to the immediate family members of the victim.
Federal Law No. 5 of 1985 on Civil Traffic Law and its amendments (the “Civil Code”) contains the provisions on compensation for damages. Article 293 of the Civil Code on Torts, states that:
- The right to compensation includes moral harm and a violation of the liberty, dignity, honor, reputation, social standing or financial credit of another is considered moral harm;
- It is permissible to issue compensation for the emotional harm caused to a spouse or relative of the family by the death of the victim;
- The right to compensation for immaterial damage cannot be transferred to a third party, unless the amount has been determined by agreement or by a legally binding court order.
For example, under Article 293 (1) of the Civil Code, the UAE courts can award moral damages for damage to freedom, dignity, financial situation, social standing and prestige. In addition, under Article 293 (2), family members of a victim have the right to seek moral harm in the event of fatal injuries resulting in death to the victim. In various judgments, the UAE courts have considered the level of pain, sadness and suffering of a victim in determining or quantifying the amount of compensation payable in awarding moral damages.