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Economic Vs. Non-Economic Damages For Medical Malpractice

| Jun 23, 2014 | General

A few days ago, you went to your doctor because of a persistent and blinding headache. After waiting two hours to see him, you told him about the headache. Without even examining you, he said it was probably nothing to worry about, gave you some painkillers and sent you on your way.

Yesterday, you were rushed into the emergency room after having a mild stroke. You learned later that it was caused by a blood clot. If your condition had been properly diagnosed sooner, it could’ve prevented the stroke altogether. As it is now, the seizures caused by the stroke partially paralyzed your right side.

As a result of a “busy” doctor and a negligent diagnosis, not only have you lost the ability to work and therefore the ability to pay your bills, but your quality of life has dramatically decreased, depression is beginning to set in, and your future is now an uncertain blur. Your only option is to file a medical malpractice claim for economic and non-economic damages, but you’re having trouble figuring out which is which.

A good lawyer will be able to walk you through your options and help determine what damages you should include in your claim. However, it is a good idea to know the difference between the two, so you can provide accurate information to secure detailed claim.

Economic Damages

Any financial losses that you may have experienced as a result of your injury can be considered for compensation as economic damages. An experienced lawyer can argue the inclusion of any future losses as well.

  • Medical bills (past, present and future)
  • Treatment costs
  • Future ‘complication’ costs
  • Compensation for any work pay lost
  • Rent or mortgage payments (due to lack of working)

Non-economic Damages

In order to receive non-economic damages, you must be able to prove that the actions of the physician caused additional losses other than financial. A birth-related malpractice claim could seek non-economic damages for emotional loss if, for instance, the incident caused the woman’s uterus to become damaged, making it impossible for her to have any more children. This loss isn’t financially based, but should definitely be compensated. Other forms of non-economic damages are:

  • Psychological trauma or mental anguish
  • Pain and suffering
  • Compensation for time lost
  • Compensation for decreased quality of life 

Contact a Virginia Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Let our experienced lawyers help you determine what damages to include in your claim as well as fight to make sure you get the compensation you deserve. Call us today for a free consultation, you won’t regret it!

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