If you believe that you've been a victim of medical malpractice, you’re likely to find yourself wondering how much compensation you may be legally entitled to receive. The answer to this question is complex, but there are a few factors you can use to better evaluate the strength of your case.
Questions to Ask When Evaluating Your Malpractice Case
As you're determining how much you can expect to receive as the result of your malpractice claim, you'll need to think about the following issues:
- Is it possible there's another explanation for your condition? To be eligible for any type of medical malpractice compensation, you must prove your injuries were caused by your healthcare provider's misconduct. If it's possible that there's another explanation for your injuries, your claim will likely be denied. Most times when people think they have an actionable malpractice, they don’t.
- Pain and suffering limitations. In a medical malpractice action the State of California limits these damages to a maximum of $250,000.00, except under a few exceptions. This limit places significant restrictions on your ability to receive full compensation for your significant injuries.
- Whether your medical expenses were paid for by insurance. In some situations, if your medical expenses were paid for by your own medical insurance, the doctor does not have to reimburse you for the losses. If the expenses weren’t covered by insurance, were covered by government provided insurance or an ERISA insurance policy, you may be able to recover those medical expenses.
- Are there gaps in your medical treatment? If you did not seek treatment for your injuries immediately or failed to follow recommendations for follow-up care, the defendant may argue that your condition is not as severe as you claim or that your own delays increased the damage caused to you.
- Are you expected to fully recover? If you will eventually heal from your injuries and be able to function as you did before, your case will be considered not worth as much money as someone who is left permanently disabled.
- Do your injuries affect your earning potential? If your injuries leave you unable to work, limited in your ability to work, or working in a lower paying position, you may be eligible for higher compensation than someone who has not had their earning potential affected.
- Do you need ongoing medical care? If you will require ongoing or future medical care, such as expensive surgeries, medications and/or physical therapy, these items may increase your overall compensation from the malpractice.
- Do you require household help? If you must now use a ride service to your appointments because you're unable to drive or you are required to hire a lawn service because you can no longer handle your own yard work, these types of expenses may increase your eligibility for compensation.
- Do you have any dependents? If you have minor children, a nonworking spouse, elderly parents or other people who require your financial support, you may be eligible for higher compensation due to your increased financial cost in handling those responsibilities.
State Limitations on Malpractice Settlements
States are allowed to set limits on the amount of damages that plaintiffs can recover in a medical malpractice case. Under California law, there is a $250,000 cap on noneconomic damages. Non-economic damages are costs that do not have an objectively verifiable number. This includes compensation for pain, suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life.
How Can Inland Empire Law Group Help?
With skilled legal representation, you’ll be able to maximize the compensation for your malpractice claim. Inland Empire Law Group’s team of personal injury attorneys has extensive experience helping victims of medical malpractice who received improper treatment from medical providers. Each case is evaluated to determine if legal action can be taken to recover damages from a medical malpractice claim. Call us at (888) MY IE LAW to schedule a consultation or submit your confidential case information on this website.