For victims of medical malpractice, it is important to hold the responsible parties accountable for their actions. Medical malpractice can have life-long implications, and other patients may face similar fates if your situation is not brought to light. The best thing you can do is to tell someone what happened and seek compensation for your injuries and financial losses.
Damages Available to Victims of Medical Malpractice
The following are the main categories of damages typically available to victims of medical malpractice:
- Medical Bills – Your compensation should include recovery for all of the medical expenses you have incurred as a result of the doctor’s nurse’s or medical facility’s malpractice.
- Future Medical Expenses – You are also entitled to payment for the anticipated costs of any ongoing and future treatment necessitated by the medical error. This may include checkups, hospital visits, surgical procedures, rehabilitation therapy, and psychological treatment.
- Prescription Costs – You can receive compensation for your prescription costs as well.
- Lost Wages – If you missed time from work because you were in the hospital or because your injuries prevented you from doing your job, you are entitled to compensation for your lost wages.
- Lost Earning Capacity – Many malpractice victims are unable to return to work even after recovering from their injuries. If you suffer lasting pain or mobility restrictions that prevent you from doing your job, you are entitled to recover what you would have made working if it weren’t for your injuries. This includes salary, health insurance, and other benefits.
- Pain and Suffering – Damages are also available for the emotional toll of your injuries. If you have suffered from scarring or disfigurement, these may be compensable as well.
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life or Loss of Companionship – You are also entitled to financial compensation for the restrictions placed on your life as a result of your injuries. If you are unable to enjoy spending time with your family or to be intimate with your spouse, these are losses that deserve to be compensated as much as possible.
Statutory Limits on Non-Economic Damages
Many states have imposed statutory caps on the amount of damages that malpractice victims can recover for pain and suffering, scarring and disfigurement, and loss of enjoyment and companionship (these injuries are known as “non-economic” damages because they are not directly tied to the victim’s financial losses). However, courts in some states –Illinois and Missouri included – have decided that these laws are invalid.
The Illinois Supreme Court held the state’s non-economic damages cap unconstitutional in 2010, and the Missouri Supreme Court held that a similar law capping non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases was unconstitutional in 2012.
However, in March 2015, the Missouri Senate passed a bill that would reinstitute the state’s cap on the damages available to victims of medical malpractice. If approved by the House of Representatives, the new statute will cap damages at $400,000, with an increase to $700,000 in cases involving catastrophic injuries.
Schedule a Free Consultation about Your Medical Injuries
If you believe that you may be a victim of medical malpractice, the experienced attorneys at Carey, Danis & Lowe can evaluate your case. To schedule a free consultation, contact us online today.