After experiencing medical malpractice, many people find themselves in financially difficult situations. Often, they may face additional medical expenses and be forced to take time off work to heal. While a lawsuit may not change the fact that someone is injured, it may help offset the costs associated with those injuries and facilitate financial stability.

Potential plaintiffs wondering what they could receive in terms of damages in a Schenectady medical malpractice case should look no further than a qualified malpractice lawyer. Dedicated attorneys could help an injured person quantify damages and present claims to juries and insurance companies to maximize their possible recovery.

Available Damages in a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

People who have suffered injury due to medical malpractice are eligible to seek three different types of damages for their injuries. These damages are legally categorized based on the type of harm they cover:

  • Actual damages
  • General damages
  • Punitive damages
  • Actual Damages

Actual Damages

Economic damages, also referred to as actual damages, are straightforward and objective. These damages are relatively easy to calculate and help to offset the clear financial harm someone has suffered as a result of medical malpractice. These damages include:

  • Lost wages
  • Medical expenses
  • Prescription medication
  • Modifications to home or person
  • On-going medical care

General Damages

Compared to actual damages, general damages are more difficult to quantify. While these non-economic damages are subjective, it is possible to rely on other evidence of suffering in order to evaluate them fairly. Common non-economic damages include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Permanent disability or disfigurement
  • Loss of enjoyment in life or activities
  • Loss of future earning potential
  • Future medical expenses

Punitive Damages

Finally, juries and judges may choose to award punitive damages. These are typically reserved for unique cases in which the court determines a defendant displayed wanton dishonesty, indifference, or extreme negligence. These damages in a Schenectady medical malpractice case are intended to punish the defendant and discourage similar behavior.

Medical Malpractice Damage Caps

Many states have enabled caps on potential damages in Schenectady medical malpractice cases. Fortunately, the State of New York places no such limits on plaintiffs in medical malpractice cases. Consequently, injured parties could seek any amount of damages, and juries are instructed to award what they believe is a fair reflection of the harm suffered.

When Plaintiffs Are Liable

In some medical malpractice cases, a plaintiff could be held partially to blame for their injuries. This may occur if a patient failed to disclose important information to their doctor or did not follow clear medical instructions. To account for shared fault, New York Civil Practice Law & Rules §1411 instructs courts to use the comparative fault doctrine when awarding damages.

During a trial, the court determines how much fault the plaintiff and the defendant each bear. If the court finds a plaintiff does carry some fault, the amount of damages awarded would be reduced by the corresponding percentage of fault. For example, if the court determined that the plaintiff was 30 percent at fault for their injuries, any damage awards would be reduced by 30 percent.

Get Help Seeking Damages in a Medical Malpractice Case in Schenectady

Seeking damages in a Schenectady medical malpractice case may be daunting for those healing from injuries. Often, individuals may accept whatever settlement is presented without negotiating or understanding potential damages to avoid the stress of litigation.

However, it is often critical to fully understand potential damages in Schenectady medical malpractice case before deciding on legal action or engaging in settlement talks. An experienced malpractice attorney could help you quantify harm in your case and begin working towards recoverable damages. Reach out today to explain your case and learn more about available compensation.