Compensation for sucicide witness with emotional distress?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Compensation for sucicide witness with emotional distress?

I was a witness to a horrific sucicide, by gun shot, a
few months ago. It happened in the victims car, that
me a another person were in. After months of
distress and counseling, it is still all I think about, I
now need help with mental health bills. Would the
victims insurance policy cover this?

Asked on March 26, 2016 under Personal Injury, Alaska


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

No, the victim's insurance will not cover this. With very few exceptions, which this does not fall under, there is no compensation for emotional distress--the law simply does not provide compensation for this as a general mattter, because it is so unquantifiable and subjective, and because (given that it's impossible to know what was in someone's head, or what other issues or trauma they were dealing with) it's so difficult to establish or prove causality.
Also consider that to even try to get compensation--which again, would almost certainly fail--you'd have to sue the suicide's estate or family for the money. Is that really something you want to even try to do? 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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