Jill Kolodner | December 30, 2021 | Medical Malpractice
If a doctor harms a patient, that patient will typically experience emotional distress. In some cases, this distress can be more challenging than the physical injury.
Some victims are entitled to financial compensation. But it can be difficult to calculate the value of emotional distress or trauma.
Because of this, you should contact a skilled legal representative to pursue the money that you deserve. An attorney will examine the circumstances of your legal claim to determine the value of your case.
Patients should be able to trust that their medical providers are offering a high standard of care. When a physician harms a patient, the victim can pursue compensation in the form of financial damages.
Understanding Emotional Distress
Psychological pain or mental discomfort after an injury is also known as “emotional distress.” This type of pain often results from a traumatic event.
Some of the most common symptoms of emotional distress include:
- Loss of appetite
- Memory problems
- Lack of sexual desire
- Low energy
- Weight loss or gain
- Increased use of alcohol
- Difficulty getting to sleep or staying asleep
Those who cannot prove that they have experienced severe emotional distress can still seek financial recovery. For instance, patients who were injured by their physicians can pursue compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and physical pain.
When to Sue for Emotional Distress
Typically, there are two circumstances that can entitle you to financial recovery because of your emotional distress.
The Presence of a Physical Injury
When a medical care provider causes a patient to sustain a personal injury, the victim will likely experience emotional pain. For instance, suppose that a surgeon amputated the wrong leg after misreading a surgical order.
In this case, the patient’s physical injury would lead to significant life changes. These life changes could create severe emotional distress and turmoil, often in the form of depression or anxiety.
Lack of a Physical Injury
In some cases, emotional distress is not the result of a physical injury. For instance, a misdiagnosis of your medical condition could result in significant distress.
Suppose that you received an incorrect diagnosis that you had only three months to live. If you actually have a manageable condition, you could have suffered unnecessary mental trauma because of your physician’s mistake.
Patients do not have to show evidence of a physical injury to recover financial compensation through a tort lawsuit. However, it is usually easier to secure monetary recovery if you have experienced both mental and physical harm.
Proving Emotional Distress with the Help of an Attorney
The most difficult part of recovering compensation for emotional distress is proving what caused the harm.
To successfully secure financial recovery in these cases, you will need to show:
- A doctor-patient relationship was established
- You were owed a duty of care
- The physician breached their duty of care
- The breach resulted in emotional distress for the patient
- The emotional distress resulted in actual damages
Proving that your doctor’s medical malpractice caused you severe emotional distress can be challenging. An accomplished personal injury attorney will examine the circumstances of your claim and help you to build a powerful legal case.
Some of the most common types of evidence used in these cases include:
- Relevant emails
- Medical bills
- Doctor’s notes
- Medical documents and records
- Therapy bills
- Records of lost wages from missed work
- Testimony from those who witnessed the problem
You should not have to bear the costs of significant emotional distress that another person caused. Reach out to a skilled injury lawyer to pursue the financial recovery that you are owed.