When a doctor fails to use a reasonable level of care or skill in a given set of medical circumstances, and that failure injures a patient and causes them harm, it is medical malpractice. After you or a loved one have experienced medical malpractice, you may be entitled to receive compensation, also known as damages. A well-versed medical malpractice attorney from Lowenthal & Abrams can investigate the details of your case to help you understand your options.

Calculating damages in Philadelphia medical malpractice cases can be complicated, but our legal team can help you protect your rights. Let us advocate for you during this difficult time.

Defining the Types of Damages

In general, there are several types of damages that a Philadelphia patient may be able to recover in a medical malpractice case. However, it is essential to note that the burden is on the injured person to prove what damages they are entitled to based on the harm they experienced.

The first type of compensation a patient may be able to receive is compensatory damages. These are damages intended to compensate the patient for a loss they have experienced or harm they have sustained.

There are a few sub-categories within compensatory damages:

Economic Damages

A patient may receive economic damages after experiencing medical malpractice. These damages are tied to monetary losses and are objective expenses that the patient can prove relatively easily by providing the appropriate receipt, invoice, or bank statement showing that loss. Economic damages may include past and future medical expenses, prescriptions, rehabilitative care costs, or wages lost from time missed at work due to illness or injury.

Non-Economic Damages

A patient may be able to receive non-economic damages. Unlike economic damages, non-economic damages are usually less tangible or objective and can be harder to prove. Non-economic damages include items that the patient experienced because of malpractice, such as emotional distress, pain and suffering, mental anguish, or loss of enjoyment of life.

Punitive Damages

In rarer cases, the injured patient may be able to receive punitive damages. Unlike compensatory damages, punitive damages do not aim to put the injured person back in the situation they were in prior to their loss. Instead, they punish the doctor or medical professional whose actions were particularly egregious or intentional.

Understanding Limits on Damages

Many states place caps on the total amount of damages that a patient can receive in a medical malpractice case, which means that an injured person can recover no more than a certain amount for their losses, even when their losses are greater than the cap. In Philadelphia and the rest of Pennsylvania, compensatory damages in medical malpractice cases are uncapped, which means an injured patient can always receive the full amount of compensatory damages that they incurred or experienced due to their doctor’s negligence.

Pennsylvania does place a cap on punitive damages. According to 40 Pennsylvania Statutes § 1303.505, a jury may not award punitive damages against any individual physician exceeding 200 percent of the compensatory damages awarded to that physician. However, the cap on punitive damages may be exceeded if the physician intentionally or purposefully committed medical malpractice.

Additionally, this statute provides that only 75 percent of punitive damages are paid to the patient. The remaining amount is paid to the Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error Fund.

Seek Help From a Philadelphia Lawyer Regarding Damages in Your Medical Malpractice Case

Medical malpractice can significantly impact your health and the way you live your life, and that impact could last for a long time. When you experience this, you deserve to be compensated for your losses. An understanding attorney from Lowenthal & Abrams can help you investigate and analyze your situation and calculate what damages might be available to ensure that you are treated and compensated fairly.

Schedule an initial consultation today to learn more about damages in Philadelphia medical malpractice cases.


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