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Lawsuits & Litigation

Damages You Can Recover in a Medical Malpractice Case

— November 23, 2022

Working with a legal expert, you are more likely to receive the compensation you seek.

If a patient successfully prosecutes a medical malpractice claim, they may be entitled to financial compensation for economic and non-economic losses. Families of patients who tragically passed away due to medical negligence may be eligible to seek compensation via a wrongful death lawsuit.

Medical malpractice cases are subject to damage limitations in many jurisdictions, nevertheless. These may place a cap on the whole prize or only a portion.

Economic Damages

Economic damages, commonly referred to as special damages, compensate a victim for any expenses incurred due to the malpractice. Most significantly, they pay for any medical costs associated with the therapy or treatments necessary to deal with the consequent damage. If the victim’s injuries required them to skip time at work, they are also reimbursed for lost wages.

As long as the computation is reasonable and not too speculative, a victim may be eligible for compensation for future medical costs. Documents, such as medical bills, may support economic losses, but occasionally a claim for future or more complicated damages may need an expert to testify.

An attorney can help you gather the evidence you need for a strong case. A medical malpractice lawyer Christina Pendelton can review your case and determine what type of damages you may recover.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic losses—usually referred to as general damages—are harder to put a cash value on. They often include any deterioration in the victim’s quality of life and suffering. This is sometimes referred to as losing appreciation of life.

A victim might be able to receive compensation for their future loss of earning capability if the negligence led to a permanent handicap. Your lawyer can help you document your condition.

Woman in pain; image by Matteo Vistocco, via
Woman in pain; image by Matteo Vistocco, via

Non-economic damages may need more than simply paperwork to be shown. A judge or jury may be better able to comprehend the effects of the malpractice on the victim’s life with the assistance of witness testimony from the victim, their family, and friends.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are intended to punish the criminal rather than to compensate the victim. This is only conceivable if the defendant’s carelessness or purpose is shown. When granted, this sum may be substantial and acts as a warning to other healthcare and medical professionals.

Damages for Wrongful Death and Survival Actions

Depending on the circumstances of the claim, claims based on a patient’s death may result in one of two damages. First, wrongful death lawsuits are intended to reimburse the victim’s heirs for their current and future financial losses based on the victim’s contributions to the family.

Wrongful Death

While some jurisdictions enable wrongful death damages based on more ephemeral sorts of loss, such as the absence of companionship or direction, many states do not. According to each state’s wrongful death legislation, only certain family members can obtain wrongful death damages.

Survival Action

The second kind of claim is called survival action. In survival cases, damages are paid to the victim’s estate (or their heirs) to cover the expenses incurred due to the malpractice before the victim’s death. They include many categories of damages that, had the victim lived, they would have demanded in a personal injury lawsuit.

Plaintiffs may be entitled to monetary damages for the victim’s prior medical expenses and any conscious suffering they could have endured.

Damage Limits

More often than in simple personal injury lawsuits, medical malpractice cases include restrictions on damages. A limit usually only applies to non-economic losses, enabling victims to claim whatever amount for economic damages they can substantiate.

An award may need to include the victim’s alternative sources of compensation, such as any insurance policy benefits, in certain jurisdictions. In circumstances of medical negligence, attorney fees could also be restricted.

Will a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Require an Expert Witness?

To claim damages, you’ll probably need the testimony of a medical professional. Certain states demand the following for an expert witness testimony:

  • A signed declaration from a licensed medical expert stating that, in their judgment, there is proof of misconduct
  • A statement by the attorney that a medical professional has discovered reasonable grounds for malpractice
  • The first petition that initiates the litigation

It is often necessary to seek counsel or representation from a lawyer since medical malpractice legislation is heavily regulated by complicated laws that differ significantly from state to state.

Contact a Medical Malpractice Lawyer for Help

If you or a loved one were injured by the negligence or careless actions of a medical professional, you may have grounds to sue. Consult a medical malpractice attorney to see if you have sufficient evidence against the liable party. Working with a legal expert, you are more likely to receive the compensation you seek.

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