Damages Available to Medical Malpractice Victims

When you’ve been injured or suffered an illness due to medical negligence, you may be wondering whether it is worth it to file a medical malpractice claim. If you suffered any damages due to the hospital’s negligence, you probably do deserve compensation, as a medical malpractice lawyer, can explain. When it comes to malpractice, there are three categories of damages that you can seek.

Special Damages

Special damages are the damages that you can put a monetary value on. These are more tangible damages that are easier to count. For instance, they include your medical bills and your lost wages. It may also take into consideration future medical expenses if you have them. Often, for special damages, there aren’t a lot of complicated calculations.

General Damages

General damages are a little tougher to calculate than special damages. General damages can refer to pain and suffering. This doesn’t have a solid price. Your pain and suffering may include a loss of future earning capacity, physical and mental pain and a loss of enjoyment of life.

To calculate general damages, you need to give evidence of your pain and suffering. You may have experts that can testify to the consequences of your injury or illness. If you are young and your injury impaired you, experts may be able to calculate your loss of earnings.

In some states, there is a cap on general damages. Non-economic damages are more subject to caps than medical expenses and lost wages. Some states, for example, only allow you to collect $250,000 in general damages.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are not always going to be a part of a medical malpractice case. Many states put a cap on punitive damages. Most judges and juries cannot award a plaintiff with several times the general and special damages in punitive damages.

Punitive damages are designed to punish the defendant. This is common if a doctor knew that his or her behavior could be harmful. The point of punitive damages is not only to punish the doctor, but it also can serve as a deterrent to others. Punitive damages are meant to discourage a person from behaving the same way twice.

Medical malpractice law is highly regulated and complex. The regulations vary from state to state and for those without experience in medical malpractice claims, it can be confusing. It is crucial to have a medical malpractice lawyer to advocate for you. Set up a consultation today to find out if you have a medical malpractice case.