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NYC Personal Injury Lawyer » New York Personal Injury Blog » Can I Seek Compensation for Emotional Distress Caused by a Doctor?
Posted in Medical malpractice on July 6, 2022
Doctors and medical providers owe a duty of care to meet or exceed the accepted standard of care for a situation. Medical negligence, malpractice, and doctor’s errors can cause catastrophic injuries and permanent impairments. In addition, their wrongdoing can cause lifelong impacts on a patient’s quality of life.
However, a doctor’s conduct can also cause emotional distress. Therefore, whether it is an intentional act or negligence, you deserve to be compensated for the emotional distress caused by a doctor in New York.
Emotional distress is mental suffering and trauma a person experiences because of an event or condition. Mental trauma can result in emotional and psychological disorders. Emotional distress can also cause physical symptoms.
Examples of emotional distress include, but are not limited to:
The symptoms of emotional distress can be just as debilitating as a physical injury. A person may be unable to work or function in daily activities. They may find it difficult or nearly impossible to care for themselves or their family members.
When a doctor’s conduct causes emotional distress, a patient may be entitled to compensation for damages. They could have grounds to sue the doctor under negligence or medical malpractice laws.
Emotional distress can be associated with a physical injury or harm. It can also be caused by the trauma of experiencing an event or situation. Therefore, patients may sue their doctors for causing emotional distress when:
Some states require a person to sustain physical injury to recover compensation for emotional distress. However, New York does not require physical injury for parties to recover money for emotional distress. Even so, proving emotional distress without a physical injury can be more challenging.
Emotional distress is a subjective injury. Each person experiences a traumatic event differently. Therefore, you must prove that the doctor’s actions caused you to experience emotional distress.
If your doctor caused physical injuries, it is generally presumed that you will experience some level of trauma and emotional suffering. However, that is not the only way to prove emotional distress.
Testimony from your psychiatrist, counselor, and therapist who treated you for emotional distress can be used as evidence. Also, expert testimony from mental health specialists and other expert witnesses can be used as evidence in a lawsuit for emotional distress. Testimony from your family members and friends can provide details about how the medical malpractice has impacted your daily life, emotional state, and relationship with other people.
Keeping a daily journal detailing your struggle to recover from the trauma caused by a doctor’s malpractice along with your testimony can be significant evidence. Record the dates and details of anxiety, depression, fear, and insomnia episodes. In addition, make entries providing details about activities you missed or things you cannot do because of the symptoms of emotional distress.
Before you can recover damages for compensation, you must prove the elements of a malpractice claim. You must prove:
Emotional distress is a form of non-economic damages. Other non-economic damages include loss of enjoyment of life, permanent impairments, and diminished quality of life.
In addition to these damages, you can seek economic damages for medical malpractice. Those damages include lost wages, medical bills, personal care, diminished earning potential, and out-of-pocket expenses.
There are deadlines for filing medical malpractice claims and lawsuits against your doctor for emotional distress.
The New York Statute of limitations for most medical malpractice claims is two years and six months from the end of continuous treatment that caused the harm. However, there are exceptions, so it is best to speak with a New York medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible.
If you need legal assistance, contact the New York City medical malpractice lawyers at Law Offices of Jay S. Knispel Personal Injury Lawyers at your nearest location to schedule a free consultation.
We have two convenient locations in New York:
Law Offices of Jay S. Knispel Personal Injury Lawyers – New York City Office
450 7th Ave #409
New York, NY 10123
Law Offices of Jay S. Knispel Personal Injury Lawyers – Brooklyn Office
26 Court St Suite 2511
Brooklyn, NY 11242