Can I Sue for Domestic Abuse in Florida?
Victims of emotional domestic abuse tend to feel like the abuse they are enduring is somehow less valid than that of those suffering from physical abuse. However, emotional domestic abuse is still a form of domestic violence and is extremely harmful. Also known as psychological or mental abuse, it is a form of verbal harassment that can result in psychological trauma, anxiety, and depression.
Victims of emotional abuse can lose their sense of self, sometimes without a single visible mark or bruise. Some people have a hard time understanding how damaging emotional domestic abuse can be, but research has shown that the damage it does to victims is just as severe as physical abuse–but can victims in Florida sue for their damages?
How Do You Know If You Are Being Emotionally Abused?
Emotional abuse is illegal in many states, including Florida, and depending on the circumstances of the case, victims have the right to sue their abusers for damages. Even if you are married, your spouse does not have the right to intentionally inflict emotional distress. Emotional abuse can take many forms and could include:
- Verbal harassment
- Manipulation of loved ones into distrusting a spouse
- Criticizing a spouse’s appearance
- Make unreasonable demands
- Undermining your perceptions of reality
- Shaming a spouse in front of others
- Monitoring a spouse’s digital communication
- Expecting a spouse to share their opinions
- Refusing to accept a spouse’s feelings
- Belittling comments
- Controlling the finances
- Starting arguments for the sake of arguing
- Punishing a spouse by withholding affection
If you are experiencing any of the above signs of emotional abuse, contact an attorney to help ensure the protection and safety of you and your family.
How Can You Prove Emotional Abuse in Court?
Emotional abuse lawsuits are usually based on a claim of emotional distress. Laws regarding emotional distress are generally the same across all states, but some states–– such as Florida –– have one exception: the impact rule. This rule requires that a claimant be physically impacted in order to recover damages. Additionally, the rule has forced numerous victims to walk away from a lawsuit with zero compensation.
When domestic abuse is psychological, it can be much more difficult to prove in court than abuse that is physical, especially when you are trying to prove that the damage has had a physical impact on the victim. To have the highest chance of succeeding in a lawsuit for emotional distress in Florida, a lawyer may be able to defend the victim by showing that the defendant:
- Acted recklessly toward them
- Behaved in ways that were more than just harmful or offensive
- Caused measurable severe emotional distress
Any documentation of medical issues, missed work or wages, may help to prove an infliction of emotional distress, and victims should keep paperwork regarding any treatments they have received due to their emotional abuse. Medical records of any physical manifestations like nerve-related illnesses and any drugs prescribed to deal with anxiety or depression should be documented to help satisfy the impact rule.
Victims might be able to successfully acquire compensation for therapy sessions, medical costs, or time away from work. Emotional abuse cases also commonly result in a restraining order against their abuser. These cases could also help determine child custody, support, and visitation rights.
Consult with an Orlando Attorney to Seek Compensation for Domestic Abuse
Emotional abuse is very serious and oftentimes necessitates the legal guidance and representation of a lawyer. Many victims seeking to file a lawsuit for injuries caused by emotional abuse require assistance from an experienced attorney to gather evidence necessary in defending their claim.
The Umansky Law Firm has helped numerous domestic abuse victims obtain compensation for their damages, both in and outside of the courtroom. We embrace transparency, honesty, and trust. Give us a call or complete an online contact form to request a free consultation for your emotional domestic abuse case today.