Medical malpractice happens when a medical facility or professional harms a patient due to neglect or an error. In some cases, the injury is serious enough to cause a lasting medical condition. When this occurs, patients often pursue legal action to secure compensation. This can help them cover expenses that arise from their injury or condition. Medical negligence can cause serious financial problems. This means filing a lawsuit may be the only solution to these medical expenses.
What are your options if medical malpractice has ruined your health? Below, our San Francisco medical malpractice attorneys have outlined the basics. This includes what sort of damages you can expect to recover. However, every case will vary. So, you should speak to our medical malpractice attorney for more details.
The Litigation Process for Medical Malpractice Cases
When it comes to their patients, medical professionals have a general duty of care. This duty requires them to uphold a certain standard. Other professionals in the medical field determine this standard.
Medical professionals must be properly educated and trained on standard procedures. If a medical professional deviates from these standards, injuring a patient, there may be consequences. Patients who suffer serious harm often go to court to recover damages. However, they must prove that:
- The medical professional or institution was actively tending to your medical needs at the time of the negligence or error
- The medical professional or institution failed to uphold the accepted standard of care for your injury/condition
- This failure directly led to a new injury or health condition
- This new injury or condition resulted in real damages
Three Kinds of Recoverable Damages in Medical Malpractice Cases
Proving that you suffered damages is directly tied to the type of damages you are seeking. Damages refers to the monetary compensation sought for the harms a patient suffered. Thus, proving the type of harm you sustained will affect the type of damages you can recover. The three main types of damages in medical malpractice cases include the following:
Non-economic damages cover costs associated with pain and suffering. This includes:
- the physical and emotional pain experienced as a result of medical error.
- the loss of future earning capacity when patients cannot return to work.
Determining the exact dollar amount non-economic damages can be difficult. To find a suitable monetary figure, the jury will consider evidence and testimony from the patient and experts.
Compensatory damages in medical malpractice cases are much more concrete than general damages. Compensatory damages cover quantifiable expenses that arise due to the malpractice. This can include current and future medical bills or paychecks missed as a result of the injury.
If a medical professional knowingly broke medical standards, punitive damages may be recoverable. These damages are to punish unconscionable behavior and deter future dangerous acts.
Contact Our Trusted Medical Malpractice Attorney in San Francisco
If malpractice caused you serious injury or caused a medical condition, contact Mitchell Leeds, LLP. Our firm fights for victims of medical negligence in California. To learn more about our services, give us a call at (415) 769-3400. You can also schedule a free consultation with us to discuss your individual case. Send us a quick message online to get started.