How Much Is My Medical Malpractice Case Worth? Baltimore Medical Malpractice Attorney FAQ
Medical malpractice is more common than you may think. There are tens of thousands of these cases filed every year throughout the US, covering only a portion of the millions of medical injuries caused by the negligence of medical providers. It is important to remember that no two medical malpractice cases look the same. There are many ways in which a doctor, nurse, specialist, or other medical professional can neglect or mistreat their patients and cause harm. To help you assess your situation and begin to navigate this complex process, the team at Peter Angelos Law has assembled some of the most frequently asked questions regarding medical malpractice cases.
How Much Is My Medical Malpractice Case Worth?
The payout for a medical malpractice case varies widely depending on your unique situation. Your attorney must consider the severity of the injuries involved, the degree of negligence that occurred, the available evidence of malpractice, and the economic and non-economic damages the injuries caused. Currently, Maryland caps non-economic damages like pain and suffering at $845,000, though there is no cap for damages associated with medical costs, missing past and future wages, and other economic damages. $242,000 is the national medical malpractice payout average, but settlements can reach the millions in some cases.
Do I Need a Medical Malpractice Lawyer?
If you experience medical malpractice you should not navigate the claim process without a trusted medical malpractice lawyer. Doctors, nurses, and hospitals take these cases extremely seriously, as they could lose their license, their credibility, and a great deal of money. As a result, hospitals and individual providers invest significant funds in malpractice insurance, along with experienced, aggressive attorneys to represent them. Without an attorney on your side who can thoroughly argue your case in return, you are unlikely to win.
A Baltimore medical malpractice attorney has the experience necessary to accurately demonstrate the nature of your doctor-patient relationship and identify the individuals that provided negligent care. Your attorney can arrange for expert witness testimony to highlight the standards of care broken by your provider’s negligence, and demonstrate how your injuries resulted from their actions and not another cause. Finally, your attorney can ensure you consider all the types of damages you experienced to maximize your recovery settlement.
What Types of Damages Can I Get from a Medical Malpractice Case?
The purpose of filing a medical malpractice claim is to secure damages, or financial compensation for losses and injuries you incurred as the result of the negligent party’s actions. If you win your case, you will receive monetary compensation equivalent to the harm the other party caused you. There are three distinct types of damages that you can claim during a personal injury or medical malpractice case:
- Special damages. Also known as economic damages, these are straightforward, tangible costs you can claim. Examples include past and future medical bills, lost wages, personal care costs, and funeral costs if a loved one died due to medical malpractice.
- General damages. Also known as non-economic damages, this category of damages is a bit more difficult to define. These damages include things like pain and suffering, mental anguish, the inability to enjoy life, loss of companionship, and more.
- Punitive damages. Though these are not as common, punitive damages are most appropriate when the negligence leading to malpractice occurred on purpose. These only occur in extreme cases in which the medical professional or establishment behaved in a way that was particularly reckless or malicious, and usually accompany criminal cases.
Most medical malpractice claimants seek damages in more than one category of the above, depending on the circumstances of the case, the evidence involved, and how much the situation continues to affect their lives.
What Is Informed Consent?
Informed consent is an important concept pertaining to medical malpractice. Doctors are obligated to disclose all major risks of a procedure to their patients. If they fail to do so and the patient suffers injuries indicated by one of the risks, they may have the right to sue for medical malpractice. This is especially true if the patient would not have elected to go through with the procedure if they had the full extent of informed consent information.
There are two criteria to seek damages based on lack of informed consent:
- Is the risk significant enough that another experienced and competent doctor would have disclosed it?
- Would the average patient have declined the procedure if they knew about the risk?
Your Baltimore medical malpractice attorney can help you determine your level of risk and whether informed consent guidelines were breached in your case.
Can My Medical Malpractice Case Settle in Mediation?
Yes. In some cases, mediation is enough to reach a satisfactory settlement for your medical malpractice case. Many times, the medical professional and the hospital involved would rather settle than participate in a high profile court case, keeping legal costs low for all. A settlement is an especially attractive option if your case is fairly straightforward, or if the anticipated settlement amount is low. Speak with your medical malpractice attorney regarding the possibility of mediation versus litigation.
Contact Us to Get Your Legal Questions Answered for Free Today
If you have further questions about medical malpractice cases, or believe that you have a case of your own, it is important to call a medical malpractice lawyer right away. The longer you wait, the larger the risk of missing critical evidence and documentation to prove your damages. We at Peter Angelos Law have extensive experience negotiating and litigating medical malpractice cases in Baltimore, MD and Maryland state-wide. Put our experience to work for you—contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can help you navigate your medical malpractice claim.