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Is It Possible to Sue a Doctor for Emotional Distress?

November 9, 2022 | Medical Malpractice

Physicians and other medical professionals have a legal obligation to uphold an adequate standard of care and to reasonably protect patients from harm. Emotional distress caused by a doctor’s intentional actions or neglect can often be as bad as a physical injury. In instances where a physician was medically negligent and caused emotional distress, you may be eligible to seek compensatory damages through a medical malpractice case. 

The attorneys at Goza & Honnold understand that emotional suffering and distress can have lasting implications. During your complimentary consultation, we can assess the details of your claim and explain your best legal options to obtain the justice you deserve. Proving non-economic damages may be challenging. However, we utilize our best resources to investigate your claim, obtain evidence of the physician’s treatment falling below the standard of care, and hold them accountable for the emotional suffering they caused. 

What Is Emotional Distress?

Experiencing emotional distress is not getting an unfavorable result, under-promised results, or suffering a medical mistake. A treating physician’s behavior must have fallen under the standard of care in a successful claim for emotional distress. When a doctor acts with negligence and fails to uphold a lawful duty of care, it may cause emotional suffering that may be as devastating as any physical injury. 

Emotional distress may impact your day-to-day life in a negative way, preventing you from participating in activities you enjoyed before the incident. Additionally, suffering due to the mistreatment of a medical provider can make it difficult to trust a medical treatment in the future. Emotional distress may result in missed work, expenses related to psychotherapy and other forms of treatment, medication management, and trouble carrying out daily tasks. More specific examples of emotional distress may include the following conditions and symptoms: 

  • Appetite changes
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Weight loss
  • Increased alcohol use
  • Lack of energy
  • Memory issues
  • Loss of sexual desire
  • Aggression
  • Sleep disturbances

Working with the lawyers at Goza & Honnold can help build your case to secure damages associated with emotional distress caused by medical negligence. To establish a violation of a duty of care, we may investigate your case to find evidence demonstrating how they failed to provide reasonable, standard treatment, leading to emotional damages. We work with field experts to testify to the standard that should have been met. 

Seeking Legal Action Against a Doctor for Emotional Distress

There are two circumstances in which you may seek legal action against a medical professional for emotional distress, including: 

  • When a doctor provides negligent medical care, causing physical injuries that result in emotional distress. For example, if a surgeon amputates a limb by mistake or operates on the wrong body part, the physical impairment may lead the victim to experience life-altering emotional suffering and distress. 
  • When a doctor provides negligent medical care without causing physical injury. For example, if a doctor misdiagnoses you with a terminal illness, giving you a few months to live when you have a treatable condition. 

Emotional distress claims may be challenging due to their intangible nature. Working with the medical malpractice lawyers at Goza & Honnold can help navigate the legal complexities so you may obtain the compensation you deserve for your suffering. 

We understand that emotional distress may have impacted your life significantly. During your complimentary case review, we will evaluate medical documents and other important records to determine your best legal options. 

Contact the Missouri Emotional Distress Lawyers at Goza & Honnold

If you are a victim of emotional distress due to a medical provider’s negligence, speak with the lawyers at Goza & Honnold for a comprehensive assessment of your case. We are well-versed in Missouri medical malpractice laws and will help you determine the value of your claim and your best legal options moving forward. 

To schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys, fill out our contact form or call our office at (913) 451-3433.