Hospitals and other health facilities provide essential services that ensure a continuum of medical care that positively impacts the communities they serve. However, if a health professional fails in their duty to provide a standard of care, the mistake may cause severe, long-term, or even permanent damage to the patient. Worse, it could lead to wrongful death.
Why Hire Medical Malpractice Lawyers?
Medical malpractice attorneys can help you bring a lawsuit that seeks to hold the responsible party accountable and provide compensation for the injuries or damages suffered. Determining a fair and appropriate amount to seek for medical malpractice or negligence can be complicated.
Medical malpractice attorneys can help you determine the correct value of your claim. Every healthcare malpractice claim is unique, and the settlement awarded or agreed may differ, depending on the facts of the case. An experienced lawyer can assess your case, providing a run-down of formulas and cost factors that can provide a viable estimate.
Understanding Available Damages in Medical Malpractice Cases in New Jersey
Injured patients have the right to pursue compensatory damages in legal actionable medical negligence cases. The claimant ought to prove the existence and value of the damages. As such, the injuries need to have recoverable and measurable damages.
Generally, compensation during settlement negotiation or medical malpractice suits may fall under two major categories, economic and non-economic damages. Here is a more detailed look.
1. Economic or Special Damages
Your medical malpractice attorneys can assist you in seeking compensation for damages that have an exact dollar amount attached to them. It may include medical bills and rehabilitation costs that you may have incurred as you recover from the injuries arising from the medical malpractice. You may also factor in lost wages if you were unable to return to work. You may need to present documented evidence of the medical expenses, income, and statements.
You may also factor in potential future losses such as the diminished capacity to earn, future lost wages, or the possibility of a long-term disability. Medical malpractice attorneys can help bring in experts that can help determine appropriate amounts to seek for future damages.
2. Non-Economic Damages
Non-economic damages are harder to calculate as they have no exact dollar valuation. They may include intangible damages such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, or depression. If the injuries may reduce your ability to enjoy life or pursue your hobbies, the jury may factor in these damages in the final compensation award. Unlike most states, New Jersey doesn’t have a cap on the amount of restitution that you seek.
3. Punitive Damages
A rare but plausible outcome of the medical malpractice suit is a punitive damages compensation plan. They are intended to punish the defendant for extremely reckless conduct or an intent to cause harm to the plaintiff. The court weighs all the relevant evidence on the omission or reckless act of the medical practitioner in disregard to the harm that they may cause.
However, punitive damages in New Jersey have a cap. The court can award up to $350,000, or five times the number of compensatory damages or whichever amount is greater. You may need medical malpractice attorneys to explain the caps provided effectively.
Calculating a fair value for the compensation you deserve can be difficult. If you need to discuss the specifics of your medical malpractice case, reach out to Garces, Grabler and LeBrocq.