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Medical Malpractice Damages

Medical malpractice damages are those suffered by the plaintiff (the patient) as a result of the negligence of the defendant (health care professional). These can occur due to, for example, negligence, maltreatment, or misinformation, and as in any personal injury lawsuit these can be further subdivided into non- and economic damages.

What Is Medical Malpractice?

A medical malpractice lawsuit can be based in any form of medical malpractice that may occur during a patient’s. While composing a full list of faults that may lead to a well-founded damages claim would border the (if not actually be) impossible, there are a few general themes that recur frequently in medical malpractice damages lawsuits. These include:

  • Failure on behalf of the doctor, or team of medical personnel, to diagnose the patient’s condition within an acceptable amount of time – what constitutes an acceptable amount of time will vary depending on the condition, and can only be established by a board of experts.
  • Misdiagnosis of you the patient’s condition with the effect of prescribing an incorrect treatment or course of action, leading to further suffering on behalf of the patient.
  • Failure on behalf of the doctor, or team of medical personnel, to prescribe the correct treatment for a diagnosed ailment, or the prescription of an incorrect or inefficient treatment where more efficient alternatives are known and well recognised.
  • Failure on behalf of the doctor, or team of medical personnel, to fully explain – in plain English – possible side-effects of a prescribed treatment prior to gaining the patient’s consent to begin said treatment.

What Are ‘Economic Damages’?

Economic damages are financial losses accrued by the patient due to the faults outside of their control, but within that of the medical personnel. These include any financial loss that is made during treatment, as well as in the future if it can be reasonably proved that the treatment may cause such losses. For instance, if a misdiagnosis were to lead to a patient’s loss of a limb when said limb could have been saved, they are entitled to compensation to make up for the monetary losses which they will reasonable face due to the loss of said limb – these may vary depending on what job the patient has. For obvious reasons, a professional sportsman may get more compensation for a leg than would an accountant.

In less extreme circumstances the plaintiff may get compensation for loss of income during treatment.

What are ‘Non-Economic Damages’?

The second form of medical malpractice damages is non-economic; these refer to damages that aren’t directly financial, but other forms of pain and suffering. Returning to the example of the lost leg outlined above, the patient would also be reasonably able to sue for non-economic damages due to the pain and suffering (both physical and psychological) – both present and future – they are like to experience as the result of a their lost limb. Several factors will be taken into account in this category, and each patient’s case will be evaluated on a personal basis.