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Compensation in Medical Negligence Cases

By Norman Younker on March 17, 2015


A statue of Justice in front of moneyThe lawyers at Younker Hyde Macfarlane, PLLC are committed to victims of medical malpractice throughout the state of Utah. We understand how difficult a medical mistake can make your life, and that is why we always strive to help those in need, particularly in lawsuits over surgical errors and neglience by surgeons as well as delayed diagnoses or failures to diagnose.

During the legal process, we seek damages to cover a number of expenses that our clients have had to shoulder on their own. Let's take a brief moment to consider the nature of damages in medical malpractice cases and what this compensation covers.

Why Damages Are Crucial in Medical Malpractice Cases

Following a severe medical mistake, it is absolutely crucial that victims and their loved ones receive some form of compensation for the harm that has been done and the pain that has been endured. These damages are intended to cover the cost of additional medical treatment to right the mistake that was made as well as punish the doctor, surgeon, etc. for acting in a negligent manner.

As with all other kinds of injury lawsuits, two kinds of damages are sought in medical malpractice cases:

  • Compensatory damages
  • Punitive damages

Let's take a moment to look at both in a bit more detail.

About Compensatory Damages

Compensatory damages are damages that are intended to cover the actual losses that have been sustained as a result of a medical mistake or in order to correct a medical mistake. This typically includes the cost of additional medical treatments, the wages lost as a result of the medical mistake, the loss of future earning potential or ability to work as a result of impairment from a medical mistake, and so on.

If a medical mistake results in the death of a loved one, the compensatory damages will cover the funerary costs as well as the loss of future earnings from the deceased loved one. This is especially important if the loved one earned a substantial amount of income for a household.

How Compensatory Damages Are Determined

Since compensatory damages are related to actual losses, they are easy to tabulate. Attorneys and medical experts will assess the current losses and cost of treatment and then estimate any future wages that would have been earned and any medical treatment required down the road.

About Punitive Damages

Punitive damages refer to damages that are sought that go above and beyond compensatory damages. These punitive damages are intended to punish the negligent medical professional and to reward the victim of the medical mistake and their loved ones for having to suffer unduly as a result of negligence.

How Punitive Damages Are Determined

Punitive damages tend to be assessed by considering the nature of the incident and comparing the act of negligence to comparable settlements and cases from the past. In especially egregious cases, such as those that involve the death or injury of a baby during childbirth, the punitive damages will generally be higher simply given the circumstances involved.

Contact Younker Hyde Macfarlane, PLLC

If you would like to learn more about medical negligence damages and how a skilled lawyer can help you with your needs, be sure to contact our team of medical malpractice attorneys today. The lawyers of Younker Hyde Macfarlane, PLLC will be here for you in your time of legal need.

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