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What Kinds of Compensation Can I Expect to Recover in a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?

Types of Damages and Compensation

When it comes to a medical malpractice lawsuit, (or any personal injury lawsuit), there are economic damages and noneconomic damages. Economic damages include compensation awarded for monetary losses and expenses which the plaintiff has incurred, or is likely to incur in the future, due to the defendant’s negligence. Noneconomic damages include compensation for non-monetary injuries or losses that the plaintiff has suffered or is likely to suffer in the future.

Economic Damages

Recoverable economic damages in a medical malpractice case include medical care and expenses. The plaintiff is entitled to recover the reasonable value of these expenses attributable to the injuries sustained.

The plaintiff is also entitled to monetary compensation for lost earnings providing he or she can prove that the injury was caused by the defendant’s negligence. The plaintiff must also establish that there is a reasonable probability that the injury prevented him or her from receiving the earnings for which he or she is seeking compensation.

Loss of future earnings may also be included in the monetary damages—if there is evidence as to the probability that the plaintiff will not be able to earn what he or she probably could have earned if not for the harm caused by the negligence of the defendant.

Noneconomic Damages 

An injured plaintiff is entitled to be compensated for all physical pain and suffering, emotional suffering, mental suffering, permanent impairment or loss of function, and loss of the ability to enjoy the pleasures of life if he or she proves by the preponderance of the evidence to have been proximately caused by the negligence of the defendant.

Compensation provided to the plaintiff will be determined by a jury that must award a just, fair, and reasonable sum. The jurors are to use their own good judgment and must consider the type and duration of any pain and suffering they find.

Pre-existing Conditions 

The plaintiff is entitled to collect compensation for all losses and injuries incurred due to the negligence of the defendant, even if they are more serious than they would have been had it not been for the plaintiff’s pre-existing condition. The jury is not allowed to award compensation for the pre-existing injury itself, but any aggravation of this type of injury, proximately caused by the defendant’s negligence, is a rightful item of noneconomic damages.

Damages Awarded to Others 

Damages for death are allowed as compensation and include loss of the decedent’s capacity to earn money and capacity to carry on life’s activities. These damages can be awarded to the decedent’s estate as part of a wrongful death lawsuit.

The law also allows for damages for the loss of consortium. These are damages paid to a spouse due to injuries to the other spouse. “Consortium” includes a wide range of the services a spouse provides and the intangible relations that exist within a marriage. They are usually described in terms of society, companionship, affection, and sexual relations.

Shea Law Group 

When it comes to handling medical malpractice lawsuits, we have extensive experience in achieving positive outcomes for our valued clients. If you or someone you love has been harmed due to the carelessness or negligence of doctor, nurse, or other medical professional, reach out to us and book a free no-obligation consultation with a knowledgeable Chicago medical malpractice lawyer from Shea Law Group