In an effort to make a victim“whole again”, compensatory damages may be awarded for mistakes that are committed by doctor’s, nurses, or other medical staff members, even though the damage is not reversible. Whole again is in quotation because if a patient has a limb wrongfully amputated, how would they be made whole again with financial compensation? They can’t. It is just way to “help” the victim after the damage they have endured because of another person’s negligence like for the pain and suffering they will feel the rest of their lives, the medical fees they will have to pay to repair the damage, future bills that will come from treatment, and even income that the victim may lose because they are unable to perform their job duties.
Those are the common damages: compensatory, which include specific and general damages. In some rare cases, especially for medical malpractice, the jury and judge may award the victim with “punitive damages”. The fundamental purpose of this damage is completely different than the purpose for the compensatory damages. When a victim of a mistake by a medical professional decides to proceed with a lawsuit, they need to understand the details and jargon’s of a medical malpractice case. Florida malpractice lawyers will help their clients comprehend such information. Trying to get the most out of the case will help the victim pay for every harm that has been endured by them.
Medical negligence can lead to punitive damages, but a controversy has been formed around this topic. The reason behind that is that when a medical malpractice lawsuit takes place, the costs of the insurance policies for the hospitals and physicians get increased, that results in an increase in medical treatment costs for the patients. In other words, both parties suffer. Adding punitive damages to the case makes the tort reformers efforts ineffective.
Availability of Punitive Damages
The typical claim for medical malpractice is when a health care provider like a doctor, nurse, or hospital facility perform an action in a negligent manner that leads to a patient having to suffer the consequences of those actions, which either results in their death or injury. In those cases, the defendant’s insurer will pay for the damages that were caused by the medical negligence. For punitive damages to become available more than the compensatory damages, the person in question must have committed an action that exceeds the basic negligence harm that makes the jury or judge found that the defendant deserves more punishment than the responsibility to compensate the victim. For punitive damages to come into the picture, either reckless or intentional conduct of the defendant must have been exercised. For example, a surgeon is under the influence of drugs when performing a surgery and completely botches the surgery which results in the patient’s death. In that case, the jury will most likely award the surviving members punitive damages. It was not just a mistake that was made, it was an intentional act of knowing that consuming drugs could lead to the patient’s injury.
Achieving The Most Damages Possible
While rare, yes, punitive damages may be awarded during a case of medical malpractice. Every state has set their limits on punitive damages, but if there was the presence of reckless or intentional behavior, then achieving the maximum cap for punitive damages, along with other compensatory damages, is the goal of the firm of medical malpractice lawyers.
Locations to find lawyers who specialize in medical malpractice law