Type of Damages from Medical Malpractice in New York
Damages in a medical malpractice case fall into two general categories: compensatory and punitive.
Compensatory damages are intended to compensate the patient for out-of-pocket losses (“actual damages”) resulting from an injury, as well as for less readily quantified losses (“general damages”) including pain and suffering and future economic losses. “Actual damages” include medical and hospital expenses incurred to treat your injuries, wages lost during recovery, and costs of equipment or household or nursing help needed for recuperation. “General damages” compensate for pain, suffering and mental anguish; disfigurement resulting from injuries; projected future medical expenses and lost wages; permanency of injury; loss of consortium (benefits of a relationship) and loss of opportunity for enjoyment of life.
Punitive damages are intended to punish the wrongdoer for intentional, reckless or wanton conduct. Punitive damages are generally awarded only where the conduct is so egregious that a punitive award is deemed necessary to deter the wrongdoer from future similar conduct.
Example: Where a urologist who had performed surgery on the patient was aware of copious post-surgical bleeding but left the hospital without even checking on the patient’s status in the recovery room, the patient’s widow might anticipate an award of punitive damages.
Other kinds of damages may be available in a malpractice case resting on the requirement of informed consent. Where the claim is that a patient was treated without his or her consent, a doctor may be liable for wrongful touching of the patient. Where the claim is the rare one that a doctor promised, but failed to obtain, a particular result from a treatment or procedure, damages may include the value of the successful treatment.
Seeking Full Compensation
When we are retained in an injury, wrongful death, or medical malpractice case, our objective is to secure for our client full compensation. We often work with experts not only to prove liability, but also to determine the full scope of damages resulting from the negligence or wrongful actions, include future damages such as lost wages and pain and suffering.
Call us so that we can learn about your case. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation.