Types of Damages Awarded in Medical Malpractice Cases

Medical form with words Medical Malpractice and gavelWhen a healthcare professional is negligent causing injury to a patient, they could face charges of medical malpractice. In such an event, a patient can recover different kinds of damages, stemming from the loss of employment to medical bills. If the misconduct causes the patient to die, the family can also recover costs.

Medical malpractice lawyers here in Oklahoma help you as either the patient or the bereaved to recoup after medical malpractice. They help you file a lawsuit and pursue compensation within the limits of the law.

Here are three types of damages they can help you recover.

General damages

These damages cover the patient’s suffering and have no fixed price. You would hear terms like physical and mental suffering, loss of future capacity to earn or loss of the enjoyment of life, which are not quantifiable, but are real nonetheless.

There are no rules for determining the specific amount of damages, so the court decides every case differently.

Special damages

Quantifiable expenses such as missed work hours or medical bills have coverage under special damages. There may be some guesswork involved, but when compared to general damages, special damages are more exact.

In some situations, it may be enough to present a copy of a certified medical bill, while in others an expert testimony may be necessary.

Punitive damages

A patient can recover punitive damages if they can prove intentional negligence. The amount is usually a factor of the total general and special damages. The decision as to the specific amount rests on the jury or the judge.

For victims to claim damages, they must be able to prove that the injuries occurred. That is, the malpractice must have caused the losses. Working with a lawyer helps to iron out the details and speed up the process since they already have prior experience.