Recoverable Damages In A Phoenix Medical Malpractice Case
Personal Injury Damages in a Medical Malpractice Case Not Resulting in Death
In a medical malpractice case not involving the death of the patient, monetary damages may be awarded to compensate the injured person for the injuries caused by the malpractice. Generally, there are two types of damages to which you may be entitled. The first is economic damages, which are usually easily calculated, and typically include such losses as medical expenses, costs of medications, lost wages and loss of future earning capacity. Secondly, an injured party often experiences and can make claim for non-economic damages. These are more difficult to quantify and prove. They include damages for pain and suffering, past and future, mental anxiety, loss of enjoyment of life and psychological injuries.
Damages in a Medical Malpractice Resulting in Wrongful Death
The purpose of the Arizona Wrongful Death Statute is to provide procedures for compensating survivors for the loss of the deceased. In such a claim, the plaintiff must still be able to prove the basic elements that there was medical or hospital negligence and that the negligence caused the death of the patient. The plaintiffs in any wrongful death case are the heirs of the decedent as specified in the Wrongful Death Statute. See Wrongful Death Actions in Arizona.
Revised Arizona Jury Instructions summarize the various damages that a statutory beneficiary may recover for wrongful death,
- The loss of love, affection, companionship, care, protection, and guidance since the death and in the future:
- The pain, grief, sorrow, anguish, stress, shock, and mental suffering already experienced, and reasonably probable to be experienced in the future.
- The income and services that have already been lost as a result of the death, and that are reasonably probable to be lost in the future.
- The reasonable expenses of funeral and burial, and the reasonable expenses of necessary medical care and services for the injury that resulted in the death.
In Arizona, there is no cap on the amount of damages recoverable in a medical malpractice case
Arizona does not place a cap on the amount of damages recoverable in a medical malpractice action. Article 2, § 31 of the Arizona Constitution prohibits the enactment of any law limiting the damages one may recover for personal injury or death. Legislative attempts have been made over the last several years to cap medical malpractice damages, but so far these efforts have failed. It would require an amendment to the State Constitution to limit the power of the jury to award the true value of cases. That is the good news, although it is tempered to a certain degree by the fact that Arizona juries are known to be very conservative in their willingness to make substantial awards which would compare with some other jurisdictions in the country.
If You believe you have a good case, how and when do you determine how much your case is worth?
If you have suffered severe injury or lost a loved one due to the negligence of a medical provider, you must first deal with the significant trauma and life changes which most likely will result from your loss. You must often accept the fact that your life will never be the same and that more than likely you will require more medical care, therapy and perhaps psychological and social counseling. You may also be impaired in your ability to participate in gainful employment to support your previous standard of living. A good settlement in a medical malpractice case may help you to attain some degree of justice relating to your loss, but unfortunately will never fully restore your health or bring back your loved one.
Determining fair settlement amounts is never easy or an exact science in medical malpractice cases because the determination is always governed by your best answer to the speculation question- what will a jury award me, if anything, if they hear my case and must decide what is the appropriate amount to compensate me for my losses. Juries sometimes make significant awards, but other times they can be cold and heartless and render a defense verdict where the plaintiff gets nothing. As a result, most good medical malpractice attorneys will not give early predicted settlement amounts or expected outcomes in malpractice cases, but rather will let the facts develop as completely as possible concerning liability, causation and damages and then they will present their best estimates regarding a good settlement. Oftentimes these best estimates will not even be fully developed until a mediation or settlement conference shortly before the trial or even on the Courthouse steps prior immediately prior to trial. The good medical malpractice attorneys are not trying to keep you in the dark, but are trying to be cautious in their outlook so they do not take risks that you and they might later regret. That is also one of the best features of a skilled medical malpractice attorney-they have learned to evaluate the risks and have experience in determining proper settlement values.
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Medical malpractice cases can be very complicated and expensive and prosecution of a claim requires a team of experienced professionals. The Law Offices of William D. Black is committed to helping our clients rebuild their lives if they have been victimized by malpractice. We have the knowledge, experience, and financial resources needed to successfully pursue medical negligence cases. If a medical provider has committed malpractice and you or a loved one have been seriously injured as a result thereof, we can build a strong and persuasive case on your behalf and get you the award or settlement to which you are entitled.
If you believe you or a loved one are the victim of malpractice and have suffered significant injuries and damages relating thereto, please contact the Law Offices of William D. Black. If the facts justify it, we will review your medical records and consult with our experts to determine if there is a provable case and if it is economically feasible to proceed. We have qualified medical personnel on staff. For a consultation with a Phoenix, Arizona medical malpractice lawyer at the Law Offices of William D. Black, call 602-265-2600, 844-224-0054 or contact us online.