Victims of medical malpractice can suffer very serious and significant damages as a result of a healthcare provider’s negligence. These damages can effect not just the victim, but also the victim’s entire family. Such damages could effect both the physical, emotional, and financial well-being of a victim and his or her entire family.
But how are damages calculated? Are damages just what the jury believes, or whatever the plaintiff demands? Or is there a formula for damages?
The answer is a little bit of everything.
There are monetary damages which can be calculated, such as simply adding up the medical bills and expenses a victim has incurred due to the medical malpractice. This also includes adding up the lost wages and days from work, and what the income would have been for those days.
More complicated is calculating lost earning capacity, which includes the inability of the victim to no longer perform the same employment as before the accident. For example, the victim was a logger and earned $50,000 a year. After the medical malpractice, the victim no longer could do physical labor and now has to take a desk job earning $35,000 a year. The victim has approximately 10 years of employment left at the time of the accident. This means the victim has a lost earnings of $15,000 for 10 years, which is $150,000. This is more complicated than this example, but this is the general idea.
Much more complicated is determining pain and suffering. Past pain and suffering is what the victim experienced prior to the trial. Future pain and suffering is what the victim will experience in the future, and can include additional surgeries, treatments, or even just constant, achy daily pain.
To calculate pain and suffering, the value is really what a jury will assign. This is not necessarily what YOUR jury will assign, but what other juries have assigned. This is because a victim of medical malpractice will be entitled to the reasonable compensation given for his or her injury. This would be what other medical malpractice victims with similar injuries, similar age and demographics, and similar issues would have experienced. To determine this, attorneys and the court will look at other cases and compare you case with the other case. This means your injuries are worth generally what other victims of medical malpractice have received.
For instance, if all victims of medical malpractice who undergo a botched knee replacement receive approximately $400,000, you should receive approximately that amount because that is the reasonable compensation. If you do not, your attorney or the court could raise or lower your award to fit that amount. So if you end up getting $100,000 when every other victim gets approximately $400,000, the court may raise your award. However, if you end up getting $900,000, the court could lower your award.
But what do you think? I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment or I also welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at [email protected] You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com.