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Can I Sue a Doctor for Emotional Distress?

Jun 18, 2021 | Medical Malpractice


Yes, you can sue a doctor for emotional distress in Indiana when that doctor committed medical malpractice or medical negligence.

Medical treatments can save lives. But when a medical professional or facility doesn’t meet the standard of care for a patient, medical treatments can also cause harm.

Some ailments from medical malpractice or medical negligence are obvious. It can be an unnecessary surgery and healing process for the patient or an extended recovery time due to improper treatment.

Other injuries are more private and hidden, such as emotional distress. However, just because emotional distress is not as obvious as physical ailments, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t a hardship for the patient.

In this post, we’ll examine how to prove emotional distress in medical malpractice cases and the amount in damages you can pursue for emotional distress.

Proving Emotional Distress in Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

Emotional distress following inadequate medical care can take many forms and no two people experience it the same. Some symptoms of emotional distress include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Fear
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Ulcers
  • Frustration/anger

There are several ways to prove emotional distress in court. The best way to prove emotional distress in a medical malpractice lawsuit is to seek treatment from a therapist or psychiatrist. These professionals can help you deal with the trauma associated with medical malpractice so that you can heal and get better.

In addition to helping you get better, their notes and assessments can also prove your emotional distress in court.

Some medical malpractice cases show clear emotional distress from medical records without these mental health specialists. This might lead some victims to avoid seeing a therapist. But remember, your number one priority after experiencing medical malpractice is to get better. Focus on that first and allow your attorney to worry about proving your emotional distress in court.

How Much Compensation Can I Seek for Emotional Distress?

Calculating emotional distress compensation is complicated. But four main factors will impact how much compensation you can seek. Trust your attorney’s judgment in coming up with a fair number.

1. Duration: the more persistent and long-term your emotional distress is, the more compensation you may potentially seek for the ailment. Your attorney will work to prove how long you’ve been dealing with the aftermath of the doctor’s medical malpractice in proving that you deserve compensation.

2. Severity: in some cases, emotional distress is more debilitating than the physical ailments you experienced from being a victim of medical malpractice. Sometimes, the mental and emotional toll of an injury is so harmful that it impacts your enjoyment of life or ability to do regular household activities.

3. Physical injuries: proving the physical injuries that you sustained as a result of the doctor’s poor care will aid in showcasing your emotional distress. Physical ailments are easier to prove than mental ailments, which means your medical records will play an important part in calculating emotional distress compensation.

4. Mental health assessments: notes from your mental health professional will play an important role in proving emotional distress. This is the best physical proof we can provide in these cases to show the true emotional impacts you’re experiencing from the incident.

Proving and calculating emotional distress in injury cases is challenging and requires deep legal expertise. You should seek a good Indiana medical malpractice attorney to negotiate your case so that you can focus on healing and not worry about finances.

Stewart & Stewart offers a free consultation to assess your case and offer expert advice. Contact us now to get started.

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