Medical Malpractice: Knowing If You’re Entitled to Compensation

Medical Malpractice: Knowing If You're Entitled to CompensationMedical malpractice occurs when a health-care provider strays from the acknowledged standard of care in the treatment of a patient and an injury or wrongful death ensues.

The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) recognizes medical negligence as the third leading cause of death in America.

Making a Medical Malpractice Case

In 2012, over 3 billion dollars were spent on medical malpractice expenditures in the United States. Pursuing a medical malpractice lawsuit can be tough. The process generally requires a lot of patience, persistence, and legal expertise.

People who pursue medical malpractice lawsuits typically seek compensation. In order to establish appropriate compensation for medical negligence, the cost of injuries—“damages”—must be determined.

Determining Compensation

There are 3 types of compensation involved in medical malpractice cases: economic, non-economic, and punitive.

Punitive damages are solely for patients who believe the defendant should be punished for his or her negligence.

Economic Damages

When a health-care professional unnecessarily injures a person physically or mentally, the injured person might seek compensation for various expenses he or she had to pay because of the injury. These expenses are known as economic damages and are generally the easiest damage to recover (if supported by bills, receipts, and other proof).

Economic damages typically include quantifiable expenses such as:

  • Loss of income or wages
  • Loss of future earning capacity
  • Cost of necessary rehabilitation, surgeries, tests, procedures, hospitalization, medications, etc.

If a person was required to hire help to clean his or her home or care for his or her children because his or her injury made him or her unable to do so, the person might request compensation for these expenses, as well.

Non-Economic Damages

People who pursue medical malpractice lawsuits can ask for compensation for non-economic damages too. Non-economic damages pertain to a patient’s pain and suffering, disfigurement, humiliation, the loss of the ability to work, or the loss of enjoyment of life—anything that has changed directly because of malpractice and is not monetary.

Non-economic damages are often more difficult to justify and obtain than economic damages. A number of states in the U.S. have placed caps on the maximum amount of compensation an injured person can receive in relation to particular damages. Such caps usually apply to non-economic damages.

Talk to an Experienced Medical Malpractice Attorney

Hiring an experienced medical malpractice lawyer can mean the difference between receiving compensation and walking away with nothing.

Contact Eric J. Hertz Today

To discuss a medical malpractice case further with a qualified and practiced medical malpractice lawyer, contact Eric J. Hertz today by calling 404-577-8111 or fill out our online contact form today. Learn more about the services our firm provides and the cases we’ve worked with in the past by visiting our website.