Personal injury law allows those who are hurt by negligent healthcare practitioners to seek compensation for their injuries through a medical malpractice lawsuit. While not every mistake made by healthcare workers is caused by negligence, those that are can cause victims months or even years of pain and increased medical bills. The following is a brief overview of how much money you may be able to receive if you file a medical malpractice claim and win. If you have sustained injuries due to a healthcare practitioner who did not uphold the appropriate standard of care, contact a personal injury attorney for advice.
While most healthcare workers do not intend to harm their patients, accidents can happen. Surgical care centers and hospitals can also be the cause of malpractice claims in certain cases. In the United States today, some of the most common problems that lead to personal injury lawsuits are:
- Communication Errors
- Delayed Diagnosis
- Surgical Errors
- Medication Mistakes
- Birth Injuries
Every healthcare worker and medical facilty is charged with upholding the appropriate standard of care set forth by the laws in your state. They must take reasonable steps to ensure your safety while you are in their care. Winning a personal injury case hinges upon being able to prove the medical worker or facility was careless or negligent and that is why the incident occurred that caused you to sustain injuries.
While it is difficult to know exactly how much you will be entitled if you win your medical malpractice case, the following are some damages that are commonly awarded:
- Lost Income
- Future Lost Income If The Accident Caused You To Be Disabled
- Pain And Suffering
- Emotional Distress
- Past Medical Bills Associated With The Incident
- Cost Of Future Medical Bills
Can I Get Punitive Damages?
Punitive damages are not awarded in every malpractice case. Whether or not you will get punitive damages depends on the state in which the claim is filed and the circumstances surrounding your case. Punitive damages are only awarded in cases where a jury or judge feels the medical worker or facility was grossly negligent and caused you to be hurt. These damages are meant to be stiff and harsh, to discourage future reckless behavior on the part of the defendant.
Medical Malpractice Damage Caps
Most states have placed a limit on the amount medical malpracice victims can receive for non-economic losses. Examples of non-economic losses are awards for pain and suffering, mental anguish or anxiety due to the accident that caused your injuires. How much a medical malpractice cap will effect you depends on the law in the state in which you filed your claim. Medical malpracice cases are typically complex, which is why it is best to have an experienced personal injury attorney help you.
How Successful Are Medical Malpractice Lawsuits?
Medical malpractice lawsuits vary in severity, depending on the circumstances surrounding the case. The vast majority of medical malpractice lawsuits are settled before trial, with the insurance carrier making a fair settlement offer. Statistics have shown that those who do not reach a settlement deal and go to trial are successful 25 to 30 percent of the time. The Journal of the American Medical Association states that the average settlement for inpatient medical malpractice victims is approximately $400,000 to $500,000. Outpatient cases were typically awarded between $300,000 and $485,000. Your settlement may be higher if you are awarded punitive damages.
Being the victim of medical malpractice is never easy, but there is help available. If you have been injured by a trusted medical professional, pharmacist or medical facility contact an experienced personal injury attorney for advice. After speaking with you, an attorney will let you know what options you have under the law in your state. While nothing can undo the damage you have suffered, obtaining a settlement for your injuries could give you the resources to move forward with your recovery and the rest of your life.