When a physician or hospital is negligent or fails in the duty of care, patients suffer. If a surgeon, doctor, nurse, hospital, or other medical provider makes an error, the result could be life-threatening. The consequences of medical malpractice change the lives of patients and their families forever. Some people never recover fully.
Patients who have been injured because of medical malpractice have the right to file a legal action against the medical provider who caused the injury. Even though a monetary judgment will never make you whole again, it can help compensate you for the financial loss and emotional devastation caused by the negligence of a trusted medical provider. Call 410-661-9440 for a free case review to discuss recoverable damages in a medical malpractice case.
Do I Qualify for Damages in a Medical Malpractice Case?
Before you can recover damages for a medical malpractice claim, you must prove the required elements under Maryland medical malpractice law. If you cannot prove all required elements, you do not qualify to recover compensation for your claim.
Under Maryland medical malpractice laws, you must prove each of the following elements:
- That a doctor-patient relationship was established between you and the medical provider and that relationship existed at the time of the malpractice;
- The medical provider’s actions or inactions constitute a breach of the standard of care required in your situation;
- You suffered injuries and damages; and,
- The error or negligence of the medical provider was the direct and proximate cause of your injuries and damages.
Once you prove each of the required elements for a malpractice claim, you may be entitled to recover compensation for your damages.
What are the Types of Recoverable Damages in a Maryland Medical Malpractice Case?
Depending on the facts, a patient in a medical malpractice case may be entitled to one or more types of damages. Damages are divided into two categories — financial (economic) damages and pain & suffering (noneconomic) damages.
- Economic Damages
Economic or financial damages include the expenses and costs incurred because of the injuries caused by the medical malpractice. Some sources may refer to these damages as “out-of-pocket” damages because you would be required to pay for these costs and expenses out of your own “pocket” if you could not recover compensation for the damages. Two of the most common recoverable damages in this category are expenses related to healthcare and amounts related to loss of income.
Medical Expenses are any costs associated with the injury or illness and your recovery. Examples of medical expenses in a medical malpractice claim can include hospital costs, physical therapy, medical supplies, medications, in-home care, physician fees, and, medical equipment. Any medical or healthcare-related fee or cost can usually be included in this category of recoverable damages in medical malpractice cases.
Loss of income relates to the wages you lost because of the medical malpractice. Wages, salaries, bonuses, and other benefits may be included in this category of damages.
Other out-of-pocket expenses may include travel expenses, someone to take care of your home, and special equipment for travel. The types of expenses you may include for damages in a medical malpractice claim depend on the facts in your case.
- Noneconomic Losses
Noneconomic losses, also referred to as “pain & suffering” damages are intended to compensate a medical malpractice victim for the emotional, physical, and mental suffering the patient experienced because of the medical provider’s malpractice.
Within this category are several types of compensation that you may claim if you are injured because of malpractice. Examples of pain & suffering damages in a medical malpractice case include:
- Physical pain
- Emotional stress
- Mental anguish
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium or companionship
- Permanent disability
- Punitive damages (Very rarely awarded unless the case involves grossly negligent or willful, wanton acts)
Because there is not a formula to calculate noneconomic damages, it can be difficult for juries to know how much to award for this type of recoverable damage. However, our experienced Maryland medical practice attorneys understand how to use the evidence in your case to argue for the maximum amount of recoverable damages allowed by law.
Future Damages in a Medical Malpractice Claim
In addition to the compensation you may receive for your present and past damages, you may also receive money for future damages. In cases in which the patient suffered permanent disabilities, the patient may incur future damages, such as ongoing medical treatments or the need for ongoing personal care. In addition, the patient may be unable to return to work or may earn a much lower income because of the impairment. In these cases, patients may be entitled to recover compensation for future medical bills and future loss of income.
Experience Counts in Medical Malpractice Cases
The Pinder Plotkin Legal Team has extensive experience representing individuals and families who have been harmed by the professionals and facilities they trusted to care for them in their time of need. Our Parkville medical malpractice attorneys have extensive experience as trial lawyers fighting to seek justice for those injured or killed by negligence and malpractice.
Call Pinder Plotkin LLC at 410-661-9440 for a free legal consultation with one of our compassionate and understanding attorneys.
The information provided in this website is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject. The information contained in this blog is also subject to change and should not be relied upon. Contact the Pinder Plotkin Legal Team for a FREE consultation.