You are walking along the shoulder of a road with no sidewalk. You are facing traffic, as you are supposed to. To your right, walking with you, is your husband. Suddenly the car heading towards you veers off the road and onto the shoulder. You have time to jump to the left and escape injury. Your husband, on the other hand, is hit and killed. You watch this happen, horrified.
Clearly your husband’s estate has a claim for “wrongful death” against the negligent driver of the car. As his widow, you are probably going to be the administrator of that estate, and will sue on behalf of the estate. The estate will recover all the financial expenses stemming from the accident (medical and funeral expense) and will also recover for any pain and suffering he endured before death, and for any loss of financial support you and other family members will suffer.
But what about you. Do you have a personal claim (not just on behalf of the estate) against the driver for the emotional harm you suffered from being right next to your husband, and watching, when he was hit and killed? That image is going to haunt you for the rest of your life!