How Much Can I Recover If I was Hurt By a Doctor or Nurse?

Last updated on: September 5, 2022

Medical malpractice presents unique challenges and can cause minor or severe injuries or even death. Pursuing compensation can be time-consuming and expensive. One solution is to contact a medical malpractice lawyer who can go over a strategy for pursuing medical malpractice compensation. Zinda Law Group’s personal injury lawyers can provide legal advice while working diligently to reach a fair and just resolution of your claim.

We have the knowledge and resources to help you seek maximum medical malpractice compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, and more. Call (800) 863-5312 today and schedule your free case review. 

What Is Medical Malpractice?

According to Johns Hopkins patient safety experts, about 250,000 deaths occur in the US annually due to diagnosis errors. Medical malpractice claims and lawsuits allow patients to recover medical malpractice compensation from harmful actions resulting in sub-par treatment or injury. 

Medical malpractice occurs when a medical provider such as a nurse, physician’s assistant, or doctor neglects to provide the appropriate treatment. This negligence may cause severe injuries, minor injuries, or even death.

If you were a victim of medical malpractice, you must be able to prove four things:

  1. Your healthcare provider owed you a professional duty of care.
  2. Your healthcare provider breached the standard of the duty of care.
  3. You received a compensable injury.
  4. Your healthcare provider’s breach caused your injury.

The professional duty of care your healthcare provider owes you is equal to the level of care the average healthcare provider in the same field would exercise. If your healthcare provider fails to exercise the standard level of care, they have breached their professional duty.

A compensable injury is a type that the law is meant to compensate. If you received a physical injury, your injury likely qualifies. Finally, your healthcare provider must have directly and proximately caused your injury.

What Kinds of Mistakes Can Amount to Medical Malpractice?

The following acts can constitute examples of medical malpractice and common medical errors:

  • Making a surgical mistake
  • Failing to monitor a patient
  • Failure to respond to a patient’s call
  • Failure to properly diagnose a patient
  • Failing to take proper care of the patient
  • Administering the wrong type of medication

Liability for Medical Malpractice

Depending on the state, the following are examples of healthcare providers who victims or their families can sue:

  • Nurses
  • Dentists
  • Physicians
  • Physical therapists
  • Occupational therapists

Not only can healthcare providers be held liable for medical malpractice, but a hospital can be held liable for the negligence of its employees through the legal concept of vicarious liability, which holds employers liable for the negligent actions of their employees. 

For the most part, a hospital is not responsible for a doctor’s medical malpractice if the doctor was not an employee of that hospital; most doctors are independent contractors and not employees. There are some exceptions, so it would be wise to consult with a medical malpractice lawyer from Zinda Law Group to understand better whether your case is likely to be successful.

Nursing malpractice happens when a nurse dispenses the wrong prescription or otherwise does not fulfill her duties in a way that a competent nurse in the same situation would. When a nurse’s negligence injures a patient, it can be quite difficult to sue that nurse, but it is not impossible. Sometimes the hospital that hired the nurse can also be held financially responsible for its negligence.

Medical Malpractice Damages

Awards of general and specific damages ensure that the plaintiff receives the maximum amount of compensation if injured by a healthcare provider. In extreme cases, you might even receive punitive damages. You will not likely receive medical malpractice compensation from the hospital but rather from the individual who caused the harm in the first place.

General Damages

General damages (sometimes called non-economic damages) are not easily calculated and include more subjective kinds of harm, like pain and suffering. Substandard medical care can cause mental and emotional harm as well as physical pain and discomfort. These injuries deserve to be compensated with general damages. 

Besides pain and suffering, examples of general damages include:

  • Permanent disfigurement
  • Loss of companionship 
  • Reduced quality of life
  • Physical and mental pain
  • Physical impairment

Certain factors weigh more than others when determining the amount that should be awarded. Your lawyer will know best how to present and support your claim for maximum compensation.

Special Damages

Special damages (sometimes called economic damages) are easy to calculate and prove by receipts of paid invoices. Examples of special damages that can be collected include:

  • Lost income
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Cost of medical treatment made necessary by the healthcare provider’s mistake
  • Other financial losses

Lost income and lost earning capacity include not just the amount of earnings you’ve lost but also what you stand to lose in the future. Besides the past and present damages that can be collected, there may be future damages and medical bills included as well. 

Calculating the values of these usually requires hiring expert witnesses. Future loss compensation is not available in all states, though, and some bar the inclusion of future medical expenses altogether.

Medical malpractice cases sometimes involve injuries that require a lifetime of medical care. To ensure you receive the maximum medical malpractice compensation, consider working with Zinda Law Group’s medical malpractice attorneys. 

Punitive Damages

Lastly, punitive damages are meant to punish a physician or medical facility for conduct that is seriously problematic, such as a case in which a doctor intentionally botched a surgery, requiring the patient to need another surgery. Punitive damages are rarely awarded in medical malpractice cases.

Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice Claims

All states have set deadlines for when a patient may file a civil claim, known as statutes of limitations. Most states have special provisions regarding the time limits for minors to file medical liability and malpractice claims. Please consult the medical malpractice attorneys at Zinda Law Group to know more about what time constraints are imposed in your state.

State Limitations on Damages

Several states have passed laws that limit or cap the amount of general damages a successful plaintiff can be awarded in a medical malpractice lawsuit. These caps vary from state to state and sometimes include exceptions for catastrophic harm or death cases. Talk to a medical injury attorney at Zinda Law Group for details on the law in your state.

California, for example, places a cap on general damages for medical malpractice cases, limiting recovery to $250,000. Only one $250,000 recovery is allowed in wrongful death cases. However, California has no limit on special damages, including compensation for past and future medical care, loss of past earnings, and diminished future earning capacity. 

The amount you can recover after being hurt by a doctor depends on many complicated factors, so it would be helpful to consult medical malpractice lawyers from Zinda Law Group. We can give you a clear answer concerning the circumstances of your case.

Contact Zinda Law Group’s Medical Malpractice Lawyers 

Zinda Law Group believes that anyone suffering from medical malpractice should never have to worry about their ability to afford excellent legal representation. We offer 100% free case evaluations, and you will pay nothing unless we achieve a favorable judgment or verdict for your medical malpractice case: it’s our No Win, No Free Guarantee.

A medical malpractice lawyer from Zinda Law Group will work hard to prepare your case and fight for you. Contact us at (800) 863-5312 today to schedule a free consultation and learn how we can help if you or a loved one has been a victim of medical malpractice. Together we can build a better case that will help you recover compensation from the doctor or nurse whose malpractice injured you.

Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.