Around 20,000 medical malpractice claims are filed every year in the United States. Each of these claims seeks justice for suffering and damages caused by medical negligence.
While a successful claim won’t reverse the damage that has been done, it can provide valuable compensation. A successful claim will result in a settlement or a judgment following a jury verdict, which can provide financial stability as you adjust to life after your injuries.
Knowing what you can claim in your medical malpractice settlement will ensure that you get a fair deal if your case is successful. So how do you calculate a medical malpractice settlement? Read on to find out everything you need to know.
What is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice is also known as medical negligence.
This occurs when a medical professional fails to provide a good standard of care to their patients. This can directly harm patients in their care.
If you have suffered harm as a result of medical negligence then you could have a medical malpractice case.
When you make a claim, a time will come when you will need to consider a potential settlement amount. This is the amount of compensation that you are seeking for your injuries.
In that case, you will need to carefully calculate how much compensation you want for your injuries. This must be based on the impact that your injuries have had on your life, as well as many other factors.
With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at how to calculate your medical malpractice settlement figure.
Calculating Your Medical Malpractice Settlement
Settlement laws in Florida used to set a $500,000 cap on medical malpractice cases in Florida.
However, now there is arguably no cap for medical malpractice claims so, in theory, you can make a claim for as much as you want. However, the settlement you ask for should reflect the severity of your injuries and their impact on your life.
Because of this, each medical malpractice settlement is unique. So to calculate an accurate settlement you and your lawyers will need to examine to main areas:
- Economic damages of your injuries (now and in the future)
- Non-Economic damages of your injuries (now and in the future)
When calculating your claim it is essential to think about how your injuries might impact your life in the future as well as how they impacted you in the past.
Once you have accepted a settlement you cannot revise this figure or make another claim for your case in the future. Thinking about the long-term impact of your case and figuring out your needs will ensure you get a fair settlement.
Economic Damages (Special Damages)
Economic damages in your medical malpractice case focus on how your injuries have affected you financially. This might include:
- Surgery or treatment to repair the damage caused by medical malpractice
- On-going treatment or medication for chronic issues caused by your injuries
- Specialist equipment that you need for treatment or in daily life
- Hiring live-in care
Managing your injuries alone can cost thousands of dollars and this can all be included in your claim settlement.
Your injuries may also affect your ability to work now and in the future. This can have a huge impact on your financial stability for years to come. So you can also include lost income in your economic damages.
Non-Economic Damages (General Damages)
Non-economic damages look at the way your injuries have affected your life in a wider sense.
This can include pain and suffering or damage to your personal relationships. To prove these kinds of damages, your lawyer may ask for testimony from your loved ones or a professional psychologist.
Of course, it is harder to put pinpoint the exact value of these damages. Once you have gathered everything you want to claim, lawyers will look at comparable cases and their settlements. They can use these to find a realistic figure for your claim.
What is the Average Settlement For a Medical Malpractice Claim?
The average medical malpractice settlement for an out-of-court case in America is $242,000. Taking your case to court can be risky and will cost you more.
The amount that you can expect as a malpractice settlement depends on many factors including, the amount of available insurance coverage and the severity of your injuries.
Minor Medical Malpractice Cases
Minor cases don’t tend to have a long-term impact on your life. However, they can still cause serious discomfort and distress.
These cases can include resolved allergic reactions or shots that were administered incorrectly. Settlements for these cases are generally much lower than significant medical malpractice cases.
Cases Resulting in Short-Term Disabilities or Illnesses
Short-term disabilities or illnesses last for up to six months. After this, you should have recovered without your injuries having an impact on your long-term health.
Common causes of short-term disabilities can include misdiagnoses or missed diagnoses. They can also include minor prenatal errors or minor surgical mistakes.
The average settlement for these kinds of cases is higher than minor medical malpractice cases but lower than cases that require surgery or result in permanent injuries.
Cases That Require Surgery or Rehab
Some medical malpractice injuries will require serious intervention. If you have to have surgery to correct an error or attend rehab, you could be awarded a significant settlement commensurate with the amount of your injuries.
Medical Malpractice Cases With Long-Term Consequences
Severe medical malpractice cases can result in serious injuries, illness, or infections, as well as pain and suffering. This goes on for six months or more and may require ongoing treatment.
Cases involving severe medical malpractice can be awarded substantial settlements depending on the severity of the injuries.
Cases Resulting in Permanent Injuries
Unfortunately, some medical malpractice injuries will be permanent. The most serious cases result in permanent disabilities. Wrongful death suits can also be included in this area of medical malpractice.
These kinds of cases can be awarded settlements of $1,000,000 or more. So far, the largest medical malpractice settlement in US history is $229,000,000. This was awarded to a mother whose baby suffered brain damage during childbirth after the hospital failed to monitor her.
Get Help Calculating Your Medical Malpractice Settlement Today
As you can see, calculating your medical malpractice settlement depends a lot on the severity of your injuries and how they impact your life. Your figure can account for a range of damage caused by your injuries. So you don’t just have to focus on their financial impact.
If you have been the victim of medical malpractice then you should seek legal support when calculating your settlement. An experienced medical malpractice lawyer will understand everything about your claim and ensure you get a fair settlement.
Get in touch with RHINO Lawyers for a free consultation about your case today we’re happy to help.
CONTACT A TAMPA Medical Malpractice ATTORNEY
In short, if you believe you’re a victim of medical malpractice, you may not know your rights. Above all, don’t struggle through the process alone. Actually, our personal injury team is here to help you with any legal needs you might have regarding your case.
Lastly, let RHINO Lawyers answer your questions and review the facts of your case with a Free Consultation. So, get started by completing the “Free Instant Case Evaluation” or by calling us any time, day or night, at 844.RHINO.77.