Types of Atlanta Medical Malpractice Damages

Following an incident of medical malpractice, an individual could expect to recover any of the types of Atlanta medical malpractice damages. The injured party could either recover economic, non-economic, or, punitive damages. A dedicated medical malpractice attorney could help a person pursue the damages that they deserve. Those who have been injured due to medical malpractice should seek the services of a lawyer that could pursue a positive outcome for them.

What are Economic Damages?

One of the types of Atlanta medical malpractice damages an individual can hope to recover is economic damages. Economic damages are money damages that can be calculated and include lost wages or medical expenses. The damages have a known amount. When someone is off work and they are paid hourly, their attorney looks at the number of missed workdays and their hourly rate. They calculate those figures to produce the lost wages. For the medical expenses, the attorney contacts medical providers and asks for copies of the bills related to care the alleged malpractice and whatever treatment was needed to correct the malpractice. Economic damages are calculated by requesting the documentation to substantiate the economic damages and totaling them up.

Non-Economic Damages Explained

Non-economic damages are subjective damages. They include pain and suffering, emotional distress, inconvenience, loss of companionship, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of consortium. Unlike economic damages, no dollar amounts are attached to non-economic damages. If the case goes to trial, the non-economic damages are determined by a jury. When the case is settled prior to trial, the parties determine them. At trial, a jury calculates the non-economic damages and before the trial, the parties and their attorneys make the calculations.

Defining Punitive Damages

Certain types of behaviors are considered punitive and the classifications are willful misconduct, malice, fraud, wantonness, oppression and an entire want of care. Of the types of Atlanta medical malpractice damages, Punitive damages are the hardest to recover. It requires the injured party to show that the at-fault party made a conscious decision to do something wrong or show reckless disregard for the effects of their actions.

It is rare to recover punitive damages in a medical malpractice case. In most medical malpractice cases where a physician, nurse, or a healthcare provider deviated from the standard of care, they did not intend to cause any harm. They did not show willful misconduct or malice. It is rare for a jury to award punitive damages, especially in medical malpractice cases. For a person to be awarded punitive damages, they must demonstrate willful misconduct that inflames a jury. They award punitive damages to punish the defendant.

Punitive damages might be awarded when a doctor repeatedly harmed patients and was involved in bad outcomes for patients. The hospital is aware of the situation but continues to let the doctor practice in the hospital and perform surgeries. In that case, a person may be able to say that the hospital acted with an extreme lack of care. It was willful misconduct to let the doctor continue to operate, knowing the problems.

How Attorneys May Handle Punitive Damage Cases

If someone feels they have a punitive damages case, an attorney could assess that and determine whether the person has a case. If it is determined that one has a case for punitive damages, that must be alleged in the lawsuit. If it is not pleaded in the lawsuit, the person is not allowed to ask for punitive damages at trial. The attorney can help the person gather the evidence or the testimony necessary to show the wanton care, willful misconduct, or the type of behavior that allows the person to recover punitive damages.

Caps on Damages in Atlanta

There are no caps in Georgia on economic and non-economic damages but in places where they do exist, their goal is to minimize the amount of recovery to a patient or plaintiff and keep it under a certain amount. The courts in Georgia recognized that is unfair and a jury is best able to determine the damages in a case without caps. There is a cap on punitive damages because the justification for punitive damages is not to award a plaintiff; that is what the economic and non-economic damages are for. Punitive damages are to punish a defendant for bad conduct and are capped at $250,000. If an individual wants to know more about the different types of Atlanta medical malpractice damages, they should consult a tenacious medical malpractice attorney that could answer their questions and go the extra mile for them.