Medical Malpractice Cases: Damages

medical room
Percy Martinez

If you have suffered medical malpractice and not able to perform your daily activities, you can always obtain financial compensation for the damage done by the negligent party. If you know, someone who is a victim of wrongful death, their families can claim compensation for those injuries.

This article will explain in detail the types of the damages, who can get them and what is the procedure of getting them. For further information, you can visit Percy Martinez blog about Medical malpractice basics.

General damage:

General damages refer to as the damages done to a plaintiff in the form of monetary value. You should note that there is a difference for every case. It can be difficult sometimes to measure the amount of damage caused to the plaintiff. To obtain a specific number, the plaintiff would have to show the extent of the damages done to them.

  • Loss of the earning capacity in the future.
  • Loss of the opportunity to enjoy one’s life.
  • The physical and mental pain due to the damage.

Special damage:

Special damage is a type of damage in which the quantifiable costs are measured. The patient will get compensation which will include the bill of the hospital, the medicine, and other physical expenses. In cases where the extent of the injury is still not clear i.e. the future payments on the bills and the medical issues, the personal injury lawyer will work with an estimated amount which is usually greater than the actual costs of future potential medical problems. This term “Special Damage” is different in some states; you can only submit the bill to get the compensation. Again, it will depend on the nature of the case and the injuries you suffered.

Punitive damage:

Every state is different from the calculation of punitive damage. Typically, the requirement for punitive damage is that the doctor should know that his act was harmful to the patient. An example of the punitive damage is that the doctor will leave the sponge inside a patient after one surgery and he will perform another surgery to take that sponge out. The jury or the court will decide the exact amount of the punitive damage.

Limitations of states on damages:

The laws regarding medical malpractice are different in every state. Some states try to give the maximum amount of compensation to the plaintiff. They combine all of the damages and give a tentative amount like $500,000. But in some states the procedure is different. The plaintiff will only get the general costs of the harm. These general damages will include the compensation for the pain, injury, and psychological issues. General damages are also known as the non-economic damages because it is hard to measure them in a quantifiable way.

Depending on what state you are in, the court may decide to reduce the amount of compensation. The court could also factor in compensation from other sources like the insurance company. Also, the court can reduce the amount of the lawyer’s fee for the medical malpractice case.

The law does not limit the economic damages which will include the bills of the hospitals, loss of earnings but the non-economic damages have restrictions in some cases. For example, California has a limit for the non-economic damages i.e. 4250,000.

Damages in case of the death of the patient:

If the medical malpractice results in the death of the plaintiff, the family can always claim it for them. As you know, laws differ from state to state. The recovery of the damage in the case of death is of two types:

Survival statutes:

This law enables the family members of the deceased to get financially compensated on behalf of the person who died. The amount will start from the first day of the death of the individual until the last day. Survival statutes will account all monetary loss during the process suffered by medical malpractice. It will not include the future expenses.

Wrongful death statues:

The wrongful death statutes exist to compensate the future damages for the family of the deceased. The defendant will have an estimation of the amount of the future earning and the salary with the help of personal injury lawyer. But it should be kept in mind that in some states only a few members can recover the damage.

It is always good to get the advice of a personal injury lawyer because the cases of medical malpractice are complex.