When things go wrong at the hands of a doctor, nurse, anesthesiologist, or any other medical professional, a person will typically endure more than just physical injuries. Although the biggest concern for a victim of medical negligence is one’s new physical impairment, the financial impact of a disabling injury should also be of concern.
Because the cost associated with making a physical recovery or getting treatment for a disabling injury can be very expensive—which can create a financial burden on the victim and his or her family—it is critical that the financial compensation obtained be significant. Without adequate finances, a person cannot get the right treatment or live the life that he or she was accustomed to prior to the injury. This is the main reason a victim of medical negligence should bring a medical malpractice lawsuit against the wrongdoer or hospital involved.
Types of Financial Compensation Available
Compensation is often referred to as “damages,” and there are two types of damages that can be collected in a medical malpractice claim, including:
- Economic damages. Also referred to as special damages, economic damages are the financial losses a victim suffers as a result of the injury. These damages are pretty straightforward as they are quantifiable. This can include compensation for one’s hospital bills, prescription costs, physical therapy expenses, rehabilitation costs, counseling and therapy bills, medical devices, home modifications, in-home care, and other medical expenses as well as future medical bills. Economic damages can also include compensation for lost wages and future income loss.
- Non-economic damages. These are the damages awarded for pain and suffering and mental anguish. This can include compensation for disfigurement, loss of consortium, loss of enjoyment of life, as well as loss of quality of life. Although not as easy to calculate as economic damages, medical malpractice lawyers know formulas and ways to calculate what a victim should receive for his or her pain and suffering.
To learn even more about the type of compensation you will receive when pursuing a medical malpractice claim, please request a free copy of our book, A Patient’s Guide to Virginia Medical Negligence.