Victims of Kingston medical malpractice can recover for many types of damages, such as medical bill, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of future earnings. Should the patient die the survivors can also recover damages in the form of wrongful death. There are three types of damages that can be awarded in medical malpractice cases: general, special, and punitive. In order to be awarded damages the patient must show that the medical professional’s negligence caused the damages in some way, and that an approximate dollar amount can be placed on the damages.
General damages do not have definite price. They are made up of the cost of the patient’s suffering. They include loss of enjoyment of life, pain and suffering (either mental or physical), and loss of future earning capacity. However the patient still needs to arrive at a dollar value for these types of damages. Evidence will be given about the patient’s pain and suffering, their loss of employment, among other damages. Expert witnesses might testify to establish what the usual consequences of the type of injury the patient suffered.
The amount of special damages is much easier to determine. Special damages can include medical bills and past missed work. In New York in order to recover past medical expenses the patient must prove:
- The actual costs of medical, hospital, and nursing services, and
- That the costs were reasonable and necessary.
The patient must prove the costs by providing a bill of particulars itemizing the dollar amounts claimed and the damages must be calculated. If the patients wants to recover for future medical expenses testimony regarding the likelihood of future medical care and this testimony must have competent supporting evidence.
Punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant. In some circumstances a patient may recover punitive damages in a medical malpractice state. The rules on this vary from state to state. In New York, it is very difficult to obtain an award for punitive damages. Generally punitive damages can only be awarded if the doctor did something intentionally.
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