Medical malpractice was recently cited as the third leading cause of death across the country by the Journal of the American Medical Association. Even if non-fatal, medical malpractice still costs Albany residents millions of dollars each year.

In an article detailing the number and costs of medical malpractice suits in each state, New York reported 19.3 medical malpractice suits for every 100,000 residents and a total of $711.7 million dollars in payouts.

Understanding damages is a critical part of a medical malpractice case. To that end, it may be important to work with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer who can examine your case, work with insurance companies, and evaluate the present and future impact a medical malpractice claim may have on your life. Call today to see how an attorney could help you with calculating damages in an Albany medical malpractice case.

Limits on Damages in Medical Malpractice Cases

Many states have enacted either legislative or judicial limits on the amount of compensation a plaintiff may recover in a medical malpractice case. Most of these states attempt to limit the amount a person may recover for non-economic damages, which include pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and mental anguish.

However, New York does not place a cap on medical malpractice cases, which means those injured by medical malpractice in Albany may be able to recover much more in terms of financial compensation.

What Types of Damages are Available to Albany Medical Malpractice Victims?

Damages in an Albany medical malpractice case can be understood as a monetary award generally broken down into two categories: economic and non-economic damages. The purpose of damages is to place an injured person back in the position they would have been had medical malpractice not occurred. When attempting to calculate damages, it is important to have an attorney who is skilled at collecting evidence in a medical malpractice case.

Economic Damages

When a person is seeking economic damages, they are seeking compensation for actual monetary losses caused by a doctor’s negligence. This means that a person can place an exact dollar amount on their damages. Typical economic damages include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of earning capacity

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages can be understood as damages that affect a person’s emotional state. Compared to economic damages, non-economic damages are much harder to calculate. Typical non-economic damages include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

What is the Purpose of Punitive Damages?

In certain malpractice cases, a third type of damages may be available. Punitive damages differ from other damages in that punitive damages are meant to punish defendants rather than just compensate plaintiffs.

As established in Walker v Sheldon, 10 NY2d 401, 405, punitive damages are only appropriate where a doctor acts with a high degree of moral turpitude, or when a doctor demonstrates such wanton and reckless disregard for a person’s safety that they should be punished for their actions.

Rely on the Experience of an Albany Lawyer

Almost everyone relies on doctors and health care providers to deliver medical care and support. When a doctor does not meet expectations, it often means more than just an inconvenience as it can mean suffering from painful, debilitating, and life-long injuries and conditions.

If you or a loved one suffered an injury due to medical malpractice, an Albany medical malpractice lawyer is available to help explain what types of damages and compensation you may be entitled to receive. Call today to see how a legal professional could help you collect damages in an Albany medical malpractice case.