When entering a medical malpractice suit in New York, it's crucial to know that you can sue for both economic and non-economic losses. The economic losses are a bit more straightforward, but you can also be compensated for things you were forced to endure that don't necessarily have a financial impact on your live.
For example, if a doctor amputates your arm and did not need to do so, it could become impossible for you to work, resulting in lost wages. These can be factored out for the rest of the time you reasonably expected to work and the amount you anticipated being paid.
Other economic costs could be the medical bills from the unneeded surgery, the cost of rehabilitation and physical therapy, the cost of psychiatric therapy to help you deal with this new condition, the cost of medications that you need to take and much more. You may also need physical tools and medical devices to help you, such as a prosthetic arm.
Non-economic costs are things like pain and suffering. The healing process can be very painful in a physical sense. You've also lost the ability to do many things you once loved, like playing certain sports or instruments. This can cause you a lot of emotional pain and lower your overall quality of life. Obviously, things like this are a bit harder to pin down with a financial cost, but you do deserve compensation for the unwanted changes in your life.
In a complex situation like this -- even if it's not as drastic as the example used above -- it's wise to know your legal options.
Source: NCBI, "An Introduction to Medical Malpractice in the United States," Sonny Bal, accessed June 24, 2016