Medical malpractice claims are some of the toughest personal injury lawsuits to resolve. One of the factors that make such cases complex is that it may be difficult to determine just how much the malpractice has actually cost the victims. Most people will look at their actual losses, such as the medical expenses they’ve incurred, their lost income and treatment costs. However, victims lose a lot more than these direct expenses by having to deal with a medical issue that was due to someone’s negligent actions.
The types of damages you may be entitled to can be more complicated in a medical malpractice case. You may be dealing with a long-term injury that requires extensive care for many years. You may still have an existing condition on top of your newfound injuries that makes it emotionally overwhelming to cope. Many people lose their earning capacity due to the injury. By working with a qualified medical malpractice lawyer, you’ll access the compensation you rightfully deserve. Your lawyer will help you determine just how much you can demand in a medical malpractice claim.
Two types of damages in medical malpractices cases:
- Economic damages: This covers all the losses that you can easily quantify, such as medical expenses, lost income, cost of therapy and among many other expenses. The bulk of your claim will be based on these economic damages. While you may have all the bills, receipts and invoices to prove the costs related to your injuries, insurance companies will try to minimize your claim as much as they possibly can.
- Non-economic damages: This includes personal costs which don’t really have a unique price tag, such as physical pain and mental anguish.
One way that insurance adjusters try to minimize the amount you can receive for economic damages is to lump certain procedures into one instead of calculating each procedure individually. They may seclude certain aspects of your treatment, such as physical therapy and term them as voluntary in order to minimize the overall cost.
However, our personal injury lawyers will fight for you to ensure that the compensation you receive covers all the damages you’ve suffered as a result of medical malpractice. We will help you recover all the medical bills attributed to your injury and any other indirect costs such as loss of earning capacity, pain and suffering.
How economic damages are calculated
With the help of your lawyer, you’ll need to evaluate all the economic costs that resulted from your injuries. This will include any amount spent on:
- Diagnostic tests
- Nursing care and hospitalization
- Physical therapy
Accounting for lost wages
Oftentimes, injuries force patients to take time away from work in order to recover at home or attend doctor’s appointments, surgeries or therapy. With the help of your lawyer, you can review your old paychecks and tax records to determine how much you were making on average prior to the injury. You can then determine how much you would have made if you hadn’t been injured. This difference will be considered ‘lost wages’ and should be paid for by the insurance company.
Determining the lost earning capacity
Medical malpractice injuries can affect a person’s future earning prospects especially when they result in a disability or handicap. Are you unable to work as hard as you used to or even the same job you did prior to the injury? This drastic change in income as a result of medical negligence should be accounted for in your claim.
There are several factors to consider when calculating the lost earning capacity. They include:
- The average income for your profession
- Your level of skill and experience
- Your education background
- The frequency of bonuses/promotions in your career
- Work history
Even though lost earning capacity is not as easy to prove as lost wages, it’s not impossible for a qualified lawyer to determine.
For those suffering from debilitating injuries after medical malpractice, a life care plan can help account for additional costs such as home adjustments, prescription medication and at-home care. This plan covers all the costs that you’ll need to incur over the rest of your life due to the injuries. A life care plan is usually the best option in serious cases of medical malpractice.
Get legal help
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries at the hands of a negligent doctor, we can help you get justice. No one should have to pay for a medical professional’s mistake. We will thoroughly review your case to ensure that all costs are included and that you receive full and fair compensation.