When you work with a lawyer to file a medical malpractice claim, there are some things you should ask for. These are called damages. Damages are meant to reimburse you for costs you wouldn’t have had to otherwise pay. Due to your injury, you are now facing these costs and issues. Some damages you might be able to seek might include economic, non-economic, punitive, and survival.
Also referred to as special damages, economic damages are those that are quantifiable. Any financial losses you experience due to medical malpractice can be reimbursed as economic damages. This includes medical expenses such as surgery, medication, therapy, and doctor visits. It also includes loss of income if you were unable to go to work after your injury or while recovering. Some economic damages also include future medical expenses, but you’ll need solid documentation to prove there will be future costs for your injury or condition.
Also referred to as general damages, non-economic damages are those that are non-quantifiable. They may be mental or emotional damages you had to endure. This could include reduced quality of life, loss of the ability to complete your job, pain and suffering, loss of consortium, loss of the enjoyment of life, and other similar non-financial losses. To prove some of these issues, you might have friends, family members, and even experts who can show a court what impact the malpractice has had on your life.
Every situation is different, but when a medical professional acts particularly negligent, a judge may decide to punish him or her by ordering the payment of punitive damages. This could happen when a doctor practices medicine under the influence of alcohol, or when a nurse picks up an extra shift when he or she knows it has been too long since the last time he or she slept. Punitive damages could also be ordered if a medical professional intentionally cause harm, such as to gain more business from a patient who will now need additional care.
If your loved one died as a result of medical malpractice, you may be entitled to survival damages. This typically includes anything the victim could have sought in a medical malpractice case if he or she had lived. If the victim would have a case for economic, non-economic, and punitive damages, the surviving family members could seek for all three of those after the death.
Getting a Lawyer’s Expertise
When you or a loved one are injured as a result of medical malpractice, it’s time to get the professionals involved. Contacting a medical malpractice lawyer could bring some clarity to your or your loved one’s situation. Every case is complicated, and having a professional will ease the stress that can be involved in medical malpractice cases.