Malpractice Damages – Defining Damage and Proper Assessment for Your Case

Medical malpractice is perhaps one of the hardest types of cases to assess due to the personal and technical variables – leaving victims feeling confused, alone, and overwhelmed by what the future holds as they gather proof and create their case.

In this article, we’ll be outlining the types of damages you should be aware of – and tips on how to best assess and calculate for your situation.

You may be wondering… what constitutes damage beyond the obvious medical error? 

There are several different categories, and you may fall into some or none of them. Read on to determine which damages you should consider claiming in your case.

Damages are a legal term that determines what the patient has lost as a result of the doctor’s errors – and therefore assigns a proper amount to be paid back in an attempt to make things right on behalf of the practitioner.

There are two main categories of damages that are considered in malpractice suits: 

1. Personal Damages

Personal damages are just that – personal. These can look like anything that affects the individual, ranging from emotional distress to physical problems that have come about as a result of the error.

More specifically, pain and suffering is something that your legal team will consider as they seek to offer what they think that the courts should consider in terms of payout.

Injury is very emotionally and mentally distressing. Because of this, victims should be as open and honest as possible so that an accurate picture can be presented to the courts of what they’ve had to endure.

Personal damages are best supported with as much proof as you can find – so please be sure to check anything that may be relevant and gather documentation accordingly.

You may consider looking at blood work, medical discharge summaries, clinician or hospitalist records, therapist’s records, facility care documents, and any other reference that may point to where the problems began.

2. Economic Damages

Did you know that you can be repaid for not only the cost lost on the treatment, but also potentially for the time you were unable to work (or presently unable to work on an ongoing basis) due to the care rendered?

The courts look at everything in a malpractice lawsuit, and these economic factors will also be considered.

Depending on the specifics of your case, you may be eligible for economic damages of future medical bills that you may incur simply due to the malpractice from the original practitioner.

Again, documentation is key in order to present your case in the best possible way. Keep record of any bills, unemployment records, disability claims, expenditures, and medical costs that you may incur. All of this can be used to help you build your case.

By now, you may be wondering…with the damages I’ve suffered, just how much am I able to get for this case? 

The short answer?

There isn’t one.

Case cost and final payout is often determined by what other cases have settled for in your location, among other defining factors.

If you want more information on general lengths of malpractice settlements, overall payouts, and more, we recommend you take a look at this quick guide from DeLuca and Associates, an established malpractice firm in the Northeastern US.

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