Calculating Pain and Suffering in a Medical Malpractice Claim August 29, 2012.

Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim

In order to file a medical malpractice claim, you will need to prove the following three things:

  • the healthcare provider owed you a duty of care;
  • the healthcare provider deviated from that duty of care; and
  • as a result, you were seriously injured.

Anytime you are under the care or treatment of a healthcare provider, they owe a reasonable duty of care to you. While not every disease can be healed and not every injury will result in complete restoration, the doctor may, in some cases, take action – or fail to take action – that causes harm that could have been prevented.

If it can be demonstrated that a doctor, nurse, pharmacist, anesthesiologist or any other type of medical professional acted in a manner that is considered negligent, they may be liable for your resulting injuries. You will need to establish that you have sustained serious harm.

Damages in a Medical Malpractice Claim

Part of your claim will entail seeking damages. These are the losses—financial, physical and emotional—that you have suffered as a result of negligence.

The most common types of damages sought in a claim include medical expenses and lost wages. When you have incurred doctor and hospital costs, you may be compensated. If you are not able to work for any length of time, lost income may also be recovered.

However, there may be other damages available such as pain and suffering. This is awarded as a way to compensate you for the bodily and psychological suffering you have endured.

Calculating Pain and Suffering

While coming up with a figure for your medical costs and lost wages is straightforward, it’s not so simple when it comes to calculating damages for pain and suffering. This is compensation given on top of other expenses related to your injury or illness.

In general, the idea is to come up with an amount that is fair and reasonable. This will depend on a variety of factors such as the impact the injury or illness has had on your life.

This includes how your injury has affected you personally, your family, work, social life and future. For instance, if you are expected to recover quickly, you may receive less than if your injuries were going to result in permanent disability.

Some of the factors that may be considered when calculating pain and suffering in a medical malpractice case include:

  • your age;
  • marital status;
  • if you have children;
  • type and severity of your illness or injury;
  • emotional repercussions (depression, anxiety, PTSD, etc.);
  • how long the injury or illness is expected to last;
  • if lifespan is expected to be shortened; and
  • limits that may be placed on an individual’s life.

Contact Mellino Law Firm for a Free Consultation

The best way to learn which types of damages should be sought is to contact us today at (440) 333-3800.