A medical malpractice lawsuit in Missouri can reimburse a victim for more than just physical injuries and financial losses; it is also possible for a plaintiff to seek financial compensation for emotional harm. Malpractice is a distressing type of wrongdoing that can be life-changing for a patient. If you or a loved one has suffered medical malpractice, find out how to file a claim for emotional damages as part of your lawsuit.
What Emotional Damages Are Available After Medical Malpractice in Missouri?
Damages is the legal term for financial compensation in a civil lawsuit. The Missouri civil courts allow an injured victim to seek both economic and noneconomic damages in a malpractice case. Economic damages pay for all of the financial losses suffered by the victim, such as medical bills and lost wages. Noneconomic damages pay for intangible losses, also known as pain and suffering. As a plaintiff in a medical malpractice case, you may be able to seek emotional damages for your:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Chronic pain
- Emotional distress
- Mental anguish
- Anger or frustration
- Distress over a disability
- Psychological trauma
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Anxiety or depression
- Lost quality or enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
- Inconvenience or embarrassment
Any nonphysical loss that you suffered because of the malpractice could fall under the category of pain and suffering. The exact emotional damages you can list on your medical malpractice lawsuit will depend on how the incident has impacted you, your family and your life. You may be able to prove your emotional damages using evidence such as an injury journal, statements from friends and family members, and reports from a psychiatrist.
How Are Emotional Damages Calculated?
Unlike physical and financial losses, there are no hard numbers to substantiate emotional damages in a malpractice claim. Instead, this portion of a settlement or judgment award is calculated according to how much the jury believes the plaintiff deserves based on the circumstances surrounding the incident. Typically, emotional damages are calculated based on the degree of severity of the injuries or psychological harm.
There are two common methods used for calculating emotional damages. Keep in mind, however, that a jury does not have to use either – or any method at all – in awarding pain and suffering damages:
- Per Diem Method. This method is most often used when a plaintiff will make a full recovery with a degree of medical probability. This equation multiplies the number of days it will take for the victim to reach the point of maximum medical improvement by a certain number (often equivalent to the individual’s daily wage) to calculate pain and suffering.
- Multiplier Method. If the victim will have lasting or permanent damage from medical malpractice, the jury may use the Multiplier Method instead. This method multiplies the sum of the victim’s economic damages by a number from one to five. The greater the suffering, the higher the multiplier.
In general, the more emotional distress the malpractice caused, the more compensation that will be awarded to the victim. The best way to maximize your financial recovery for emotional damages after malpractice is by working with a medical malpractice attorney.
How Can a Lawyer Help You Achieve Emotional Damages for Malpractice?
An attorney can help you prove your intangible losses and build a compelling case for emotional damages as a victim of medical malpractice in Kansas City. Your lawyer will know how to prove your losses with medical records and expert testimony, as well as how to describe your pain and suffering to a jury in a way that will help them understand how much you went through.
The attorneys at Dickerson Oxton, LLC know how greatly medical malpractice can affect a victim. We offer compassionate legal representation in the pursuit of emotional distress damages. Speak to our Kansas City medical malpractice attorneys about your case today during a free consultation.