When you or a loved one is injured or becomes ill due to the malpractice of a medical professional, the results can be devastating. Fortunately, you can often recover some of the costs that occur because of the incident. What damages can you seek?
Quantifiable expenses are referred to as “special damages.” These are the expenses that resulted from the malpractice and could include medical bills, missed work, future medical expenses, and other similar items. While future medical expenses may not be as easy to quantify as the others, they are still included in special damages. In most cases, you can simply submit a certified medical bill as proof of the expenses incurred.
Each patient who is the victim of medical malpractice is going to experience something different than the next. Some of these experiences are going to include emotional and mental traumas. While these things do not have fixed dollar amounts, the court can determine how much the patient is entitled to in an attempt to make up for what the individual missed out on.
For example, you might experience a loss of the enjoyment of life because of your injuries. You might suffer mentally because of an adverse reaction. You might not have the ability to fulfill employment in the future. All of these things are going to cost you, and although it’s not necessarily a monetary cost, you could receive money for the suffering.
Some situations involve a medical professional who was intentionally behaving poorly or who had a severe lack of good judgment while practicing medicine. In those cases, the court may decide to award you punitive damages. These costs are not meant to reimburse you, but to further punish the medical professional who caused you harm.
For example, a surgeon might intentionally leave an instrument in your body to possibly create a reason for you to have to undergo a second surgery. This egregious behavior could result in punitive damages being awarded to you. You could also receive punitive damages if the surgeon accidentally left the instrument in your body, supposing he or she was distracted by something else instead of focusing on the surgery, for example.
Contacting a Lawyer
As you can see, there may compensation if you or a loved one has endured medical malpractice. If you have been injured or have become ill due to medical malpractice, contact a medical malpractice lawyer today to get insight into your case.