How Much is My Medical Malpractice Case Worth?
After your loved one is harmed by a doctor or healthcare professional, the first thought you may have is if you have a case against them, and if so, what the value of that case may be. These are serious questions that deserve consideration.
While it is impossible to put a price tag on human life, it is also difficult to put a price on someone’s injuries. Whether the malpractice occurred in Seattle, Bellingham, Olympia or Kirkland, those individuals or entities who committed the malpractice must be held accountable and should be a settlement that represents the harm done to you or your loved one.Categories of Damages
After being injured by a doctor or medical professional, you deserve to know what the civil just system can deliver to you for your injuries. It is important to understand that there are categories of damages that you are allowed to receive, even though, at the end of your case, you will receive a settlement check from the insurance company or a jury verdict from the jury that represents the total of your damages. The categories can be broken down as follows:
- Medical bills
- Future medical bills
- Lost wages
- Impairment of future wages
- Out of pocket expenses
- Loss of consortium
Each of these categories of damages needed to be broken down and explained.
Obviously, any medical bills that you incur because of a doctor or a medical professional’s negligence that is committed against you should be paid for by the hospital, doctor, or the insurance company who insures them. You should not be paying these bills directly.
The same is true for future medical bills you may receive. If your injuries are serious enough that you need additional medical care, a part of your settlement should be reserved for those future medical bills that you have not yet incurred.
If you lost out on money at work because of this malpractice, then you have the right to receive money to compensate you for the money you lost because you could not work. It is helpful to have documents to support this lost wage, such as tax returns, bank statements, or pay statements.
The same is true for the impairment of future wages. This means that if, because of your injuries, you will miss work into the future, then you have the legal right to receive money to compensate you for this.
Out of pocket expenses are an amount of money to pay you for things you might have had to pay yourself at the time, such as a wheelchair, a brace, or bandages. This can also include things like the cost of gasoline you spent going to various doctor’s appointments.
Loss of consortium is the amount of money your spouse or legal partner may receive for the loss of your relationship because of the medical malpractice. For example, if your spouse was unable to have sex with you while you recovered from your injuries, or if your spouse could not engage in the normal course of your relationship because of your injuries, then they are allowed to recover money on their own as a separate lawsuit and settlement.Pain and Suffering Explained
The last category of damages is the most difficult to pin down and describe in some ways. It is called pain and suffering. Pain and suffering is just what it sounds like: it’s an amount of money designated to compensate you for the pain and suffering you’ve experienced because of the negligence by the doctor or hospital. This amount of money could be small or large.
It is in many ways connected, at least in part, to the amount of your medical bills. It would be unusual, in other words, to have several thousand hundred thousand dollars in medical bills and only receive a few hundred dollars in pain and suffering because those numbers are in no way related to each other. There is no math formula or specific law on the books that says how much your pain and suffering money should be.
It just so happens, since it is hard to determine how much you should receive in pain and suffering, that these numbers are connected. Pain and suffering money is also known as general damages, which is the legal term for pain and suffering. Pain and suffering can include things like not being able to sleep without pain, go to the bathroom without assistance, not being able to go on a walk or hike like you once did, or any number of things in your non-working life that have been affected because of the malpractice committed by the hospital or doctor or both.Insurance Coverage Explained
Whenever you bring a claim against a doctor or hospital, you have to understand that you are really dealing with an insurance company since the insurance company is the one who makes the decisions in terms of how much to settle the case for, whether to settle at all, and how aggressively the case will be defended.
So even if you bring a lawsuit against a doctor or hospital, while their name(s) may be on the lawsuit, you are really dealing with a large insurance company who will step in and provide both coverage and a defense. This does not mean you are suing the insurance company. It just means they have a contract to defend the case and make sure that they are representing their client.How The Jackman Law Firm Can Help
After suffering a surgical error or some kind of medical malpractice, you may be wondering what kind of help, if any, is available to you for your injuries. You have the right to recover all of the previously-mentioned damages, ranging from medical bills to pain and suffering to out of pocket expenses. These damages may or may not be easy to recover. It really depends on the specific facts of your case. However, you are entitled to receive them.
The Jackman Law Firm can help you recover them as well as help you successfully negotiate with the insurance company. As you can imagine, negotiating with an insurance company for a doctor of hospital can be quite difficult and time-consuming. Why go through this alone on your first attempt? We can help you achieve a fair settlement. However, if the insurance company does not offer you a fair settlement, we have the ability to go to court and try your case in front of a jury as well to ensure that you receive a fair settlement or jury verdict.
Finally, The Jackman Law Firm can help prove your case to ensure you get the settlement or verdict you deserve. The insurance company for the hospital or doctor may not be eager to settle your case or they may be engaging in an effort to obscure the truth of what happened to you or a loved one during a medical procedure that resulted in a serious injury. The Jackman Law Firm can interview key witnesses, take depositions, and subpoena the appropriate documents to prove your case, rather than the case the insurance company for the hospital or doctor is trying to allege as true. The Jackman Law Firm has the resources, experience, and know-how to win your case.
Call us for a free consultation.