Being the victim of medical malpractice can disrupt your entire life, sometimes on a permanent basis. Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor or hospital does not provide the proper standard of care, causing you injury or harm.
Types of medical malpractice
There is a wide range of actions that constitute medical malpractice. You could be prescribed the wrong type of medication, resulting in harmful side effects or adverse consequences, such as a stroke or heart attack.
A doctor could misdiagnose you, causing you to receive treatment for the wrong issue. You could also lose a limb or suffer a permanent disability due to a botched surgery.
You can obtain compensation through a medical malpractice claim. Obviously, no lawsuit can restore you to your previous physical condition or reverse any negative health consequences, but compensation can help you with things like paying your medical bills or replacing lost wages.
Compensation in medical malpractice cases are of two different kinds: compensatory damages and punitive damages.
Compensatory damages are designed to compensate you for losses and damages you sustained because of medical negligence.
You may receive compensatory damages for your medical expenses, any continuing care or treatment and lost wages. If you are unable to ever perform your job duties again, you could receive an amount for lost earning capacity. Damages for mental and emotional distress are also compensatory damages.
The purpose of punitive damages is to punish the doctor or hospital who was negligent. Rather than focus on the harm you suffered, punitive damages focus on penalizing the doctor or hospital.
Punitive damages may be more difficult to obtain because you must show that the doctor or hospital’s actions were intentional or malicious, meaning that they knew they were going to hurt you and chose to.
This is not the same as negligent conduct, although proving negligence can also be challenging. Personal injury attorneys know how to assess cases and determine what type of damages are likely to be recovered.