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Can You Sue a Doctor for Pain and Suffering?

patient in hospital bed

When you go to the doctor, you expect to be treated with the utmost care and expertise. Any deviation from the accepted standard of care for a patient with your condition could result in harm and may warrant the filing of a medical malpractice lawsuit.

A medical malpractice lawsuit seeks to hold negligent medical providers responsible for their actions by awarding financial compensation to victims. This compensation is intended to cover the victim’s damages, such as medical bills, lost wages, and more. When you file a medical malpractice claim in Albuquerque, NM you can also seek compensation for non-financial damages, which includes the legal right to sue a doctor for pain and suffering.

What Is Pain and Suffering?

Pain and suffering refers to the distress and discomfort that occurs as the result of an injury, such as those caused by medical errors or doctor negligence. More specifically, pain and suffering might refer to either physical or emotional:

  • Anguish
  • Discomfort
  • Pain
  • Inconvenience
  • Trauma
  • Distress

Emotional anguish may manifest as anxiety, insomnia, depression, irritability, or other mental health issues. Pain and suffering resulting from medical malpractice can have a profound and long-lasting impact on your life. You may experience a decrease in your quality of life that affects everything from your social life to your capacity to engage in activities that you once loved.

It is not right that a doctor’s negligent or wrongful actions caused you to suffer harm, and you deserve to be fairly compensated for the damages you have suffered as a result.

How Do You Prove Pain and Suffering in a Medical Malpractice Case?

When you file a medical malpractice lawsuit seeking compensation for pain and suffering, you will have to do more than simply say that you are experiencing physical discomfort or emotional anguish. You and your lawyer will need to provide proof that you are dealing with pain and suffering because of the harm your doctor caused.

The following examples may be used as evidence of pain and suffering in a medical malpractice case:

  • Doctor’s notes
  • The results of medical examinations or second opinions
  • Notes from a therapist or psychologist
  • Proof that you are no longer able to engage in your hobbies (such as a canceled gym membership)
  • Testimony from friends and family members

Your medical malpractice lawyer will help you determine all sources of evidence that can support your claim of pain and suffering.

How Do I Calculate How Much I Am Owed for Pain and Suffering?

Damages in medical malpractice claims can be broken down into two categories—economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages refer to your calculable financial losses, including lost wages and medical expenses.

Non-economic damages refer to your non-financial losses. While these damages might not have had a specific monetary impact on your life, they still caused significant harm. So how do you calculate how much you are owed if pain and suffering does not have a direct monetary value? This is where the services of an experienced medical malpractice lawyer will be invaluable to your case.

At Buckingham & Vega Law Firm, our medical malpractice attorneys have experience handling complex medical malpractice cases involving compensation for a variety of damages. We have the experience and knowledge to correctly calculate how much you are owed for your pain and suffering.

Is There a Cap on Compensation for Pain and Suffering?

New Mexico state law places a cap on many types of compensation available in a medical malpractice case. While this cap does not apply to past, current, or future medical expenses, it does apply to many other types of economic damages (including lost wages) and non-economic damages like pain and suffering. Outside of compensation for your medical expenses, you can secure no more than $750,000 in total for damages caused by a negligent doctor.

However, the cap on damages in medical malpractice cases will be adjusted for inflation on an annual basis starting in 2023. Since New Mexico’s statute of limitations on medical malpractice lawsuits is three years, it is possible that the cap that applies to your case will be different. Your lawyer will be able to tell you how New Mexico’s state laws that cap compensation applies to your case.

Can I Sue a Hospital for Pain and Suffering?

You can sue hospitals and other medical facilities for pain and suffering. Medical malpractice lawsuits frequently name more than just one negligent doctor as the responsible party, and other defendants in your case may include:

  • Hospitals
  • Nursing homes
  • Rehabilitative facilities
  • Ambulatory surgery centers
  • Nurses
  • Radiologists
  • Surgeons
  • Anesthesiologists
  • Pharmacists

We cannot say with any certainty who might be a defendant in your lawsuit without first meeting and discussing your case in person. However, as we investigate the details of your claim, we will work to identify all possible at-fault parties who might have had a hand in the harm you suffered.

Fighting for Maximum Compensation for Victims of Medical Malpractice

Victims of medical malpractice often face an uphill road to recovery. A person’s original medical condition may still need to be addressed in addition to any injuries or illnesses they might have suffered because of a doctor’s negligent actions. In this situation, everything from working and socializing with friends to picking kids up from school and running errands can become impossible.

If an act of medical malpractice is preventing you from living a full, happy, and pain-free life, you may have legal grounds to sue a doctor for pain and suffering. The decades we have spent representing injured victims in Albuquerque make us uniquely positioned to take on a variety of complex cases, including medical malpractice lawsuits involving pain and suffering, lost wages, medical expenses, and more.

Contact our law offices today to schedule your no-cost case evaluation.

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