Medical malpractice occurs when health-care providers allow their level of care to fall below a certain standard and their negligence causes an injury. Although most people identify malpractice with doctors and surgeons, victims may sue other professionals such as nurses, pharmacists and midwives.
In the world of personal-injury law, medical-malpractice cases are typically the most complex, because errors often involve complicated medical concepts that are unintelligible to the layman. For that reason, the claimant must often call an expert witness.
However, in most ways, medical-malpractice trials work much the same way as any other. Like car-accident victims, victims of malpractice may seek two types of compensation: economic damages and general damages.
Economic damages are the more straightforward of the two. Let’s say you suffer a broken leg due to the negligence of a doctor.
The injury will likely cause you to miss work and incur extra medical expenses. It’s easy to place a dollar value on these types of damages.
For instance, if you miss six months of work and you make $4,000 each month, then you could hire a personal-injury lawyer and ask the court for $24,000. Likewise, the hospital will send you a receipt telling you how much it cost to treat your injury.
However, not all damages are so simple to calculate.
Medical-Malpractice Victims May Seek Compensation for Pain and Suffering
Forbes explains that psychological distress often accompanies physical injuries, and victims should receive compensation for any suffering that they experience. Examples of general damages include depression, disfigurement and any loss of enjoyment in life.
For instance, if your broken leg forces you to give up a hobby or causes strain on your marriage, then you could ask the court for general compensation. These types of damages are difficult to quantify, so the justice system tasks the jury with determining how much pain and suffering is worth.
That said, many states, including Maryland, set a limit on the amount a victim can receive for general damages. The amount increases each year, and the current cap is $740,000.
If you live in Baltimore and you are considering a medical-malpractice lawsuit, then you’ll need the help of an experienced personal-injury lawyer. At Duboff & Associates, Chartered, we have 50 years of combined legal experience, and we know what it takes to prove medical malpractice.
We can gather evidence, find expert witnesses and provide excellent legal advice. To arrange a free consultation with a Baltimore personal-injury lawyer from our firm, call 443-912-0002.
Malpractice Laws Vary Between States
The Baltimore Business Journal reports that Maryland’s legislature is considering a birth-injury fund that would provide compensation to the families of children who suffer injuries through a medical professional’s negligence.
Proponents of the fund believe that it will provide more families with compensation. However, opponents of the bill point out that lawsuits provide incentive for hospitals to fire or discipline negligent doctors, while a fund would not.
If your child suffered a serious injury during birth and you believe that a medical professional may be to blame, call our offices. We will work hard to prove your case and seek the compensation that you deserve.
To speak with a personal-injury lawyer about your case, call us today at 443-912-0002.