The notion of “pain and suffering” is a term that often comes up in medical malpractice occurrences. How is it defined? How is it calculated? Juries award victims of medical mistakes for “pain” and “suffering”, but what does that really mean? Pain and suffering is defined as the mental and physical harm that the plaintiff of the malpractice case suffered due to the mistake that was committed on them. Pain and suffering is a part of the compensation that the plaintiff would receive, falling under “general damages”, in addition to the other damages the plaintiff would be entitled to receive like medical bills (specific damages).
Just picture a patient going in for a routine appendicitis operation, but instead wakes up to find out that their leg was amputated because the surgeon incorrectly read their medical chart and mistook them for another patient. The physical pain would be the pain that they would feel every day of their lives with the nerves and muscles on their amputated leg. The mental/emotional pain speaks for itself. How much would the loss of a leg change the life of the patient? This mistake would bring them emotional stress, the inability to perform physical activities that they previously did, and loss of consortium, just to name a few.
These ‘pains’ are difficult to calculate because they are damages that are hard to give a price to. How can someone say how much someone who lost their leg deserves? It is rather difficult to calculate with fairness. Usually, judges and juries would be influenced by their own experiences. Pain and suffering is an important part of a plaintiff’s compensation and is often the area in which they are awarded the most. Having a medical professional mistake lawyer is essential in understanding pain and suffering and filing a claim for the correct damages sustained.
Pain and Suffering Damages
Below is a list of the various damages that can be awarded for pain and suffering:
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of services
- Loss of companionship
- Emotional stress
- Limitations on activity
- Shortening of life
- Physical pain
- Loss of ability to provide love/affection
Awarding a victim for these damages is subjective. There is no calculation or formula associated with determining how much a plaintiff would receive for pain and suffering. A fair a reasonable amount must be awarded by the jury and judge, which often depends on the likability of the plaintiff and their own life experiences.
Preparing for a malpractice case is essential in achieving maximum compensation. A plaintiff should know of what damages they are claiming for. An experienced medical professional lawyers from Percy Martinez Law Firm can aid their clients to become more credible and likable to the jury and judge so that they can be awarded a fair amount for the harms that were done to them.
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