Medical Malpractice Lawyer
n a medical malpractice case, damages refer to the monetary compensation awarded to the patient who has suffered harm or injury as a result of a healthcare provider’s negligence or substandard care. The purpose of these damages is to compensate the patient for their losses and help them recover from the physical, emotional, and financial consequences of the malpractice. The following are some of the most common damages awarded. For more detailed information, contact a medical malpractice lawyer.
Economic damages aim to compensate the patient for the measurable financial losses they have incurred due to the malpractice. These damages may include:
- Medical Expenses: Compensation for past, current, and future medical bills related to the malpractice, including hospital stays, surgeries, medications, rehabilitation, and therapy.
- Lost Wages: Reimbursement for income lost due to the injury or disability caused by the malpractice. This includes both past lost wages and future loss of earning capacity if the patient’s ability to work has been significantly affected.
- Rehabilitation Costs: Compensation for the costs associated with ongoing rehabilitation, physical therapy, occupational therapy, or other necessary treatments to recover or manage the effects of the malpractice.
- Additional Expenses: Reimbursement for any other out-of-pocket expenses incurred as a direct result of the malpractice, such as travel expenses for medical appointments or the purchase of medical equipment.
Non-economic damages compensate the patient for the intangible losses they have suffered, which are not easily quantifiable. These damages may include:
- Pain and Suffering: Compensation for the physical pain, discomfort, and emotional distress experienced as a result of the malpractice. This includes both past and future pain and suffering.
- Emotional Distress: Compensation for psychological harm, such as anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or loss of enjoyment of life caused by the malpractice.
- Loss of Consortium: Compensation for the loss of companionship, support, and intimacy suffered by the patient’s spouse or family members as a result of the malpractice.
- Scarring and Disfigurement: Compensation for any visible scars or disfigurement resulting from the malpractice, which can impact the patient’s self-esteem and quality of life.
In rare cases involving extreme negligence or intentional misconduct by the healthcare provider, punitive damages may be awarded. Punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant and deter similar behavior in the future. However, they are not awarded in every medical malpractice case and are typically reserved for situations involving gross negligence, recklessness, or intentional harm.
Wrongful Death Damages
In cases where medical malpractice leads to the death of the patient, the surviving family members may pursue a wrongful death claim. Wrongful death damages typically cover funeral and burial expenses, loss of financial support, loss of companionship, and other related losses.
Limitations on Damages
It is important to note that there may be certain limitations on the amount of damages that can be awarded in medical malpractice cases. Some states impose statutory caps on non-economic damages to prevent excessive payouts. Additionally, some states may require the patient to prove that the healthcare provider’s negligence was a substantial factor in causing their injuries.
Thank you to our friends at Ward & Ward Law Firm for their insight into medical malpractice cases.