We cannot say what the average payout for medical negligence is because every case is different. Even if we could collect all the data about the amounts that judges award to successful plaintiffs in medical malpractice lawsuits at the trial and appellate courts all over the United States, we would only have part of the picture.
We would need to find out the amount for every case that gets settled out of court, including confidential settlements. By their very nature, we cannot gather information about confidential settlements.
Even if we could somehow discover the average payout for medical negligence, that number would be of little use to anyone considering filing a claim for medical negligence because the range of payouts is so vast. We have to talk to you and investigate your situation to determine a fair settlement range for your case. There is no typical or flat rate amount a person can expect to receive for a medical negligence lawsuit.
Types of Damages in Medical Malpractice Claims
In general, once you establish that a doctor committed medical malpractice, you can go after monetary compensation for your economic and non-economic losses. Economic damages are easily measurable in dollars, like medical bills and lost wages. Non-economic losses are things that usually do not come with bills or receipts, like disfigurement, impairment, loss of enjoyment of life, and pain and suffering.
If you win your case, the doctor or hospital that harmed you only has to pay for the increased expenses you experienced as a result of their medical negligence. They do not have to pay your bills for the underlying medical condition for which you sought treatment. You can only recover damages for the additional bills you had because of the healthcare error.
For example, perhaps you went into the hospital for gallbladder surgery. The nurse accidentally gave you another patient’s prescription, and you had an allergic reaction to the drug. Your compensable damages would be for the allergic reaction, not for the gallbladder surgery.
Some of the economic damages you could pursue include:
- Increased medical bills, including additional procedures, corrective surgery, and a longer stay in the hospital
- Increased lost wages, to the extent that they exceeded the customary time you would have been out of work from the underlying condition if everything had gone well
- Future medical bills because of the medical negligence
These damages cover the losses you suffered in addition to the out-of-pocket costs as a result of the malpractice. Although these things can be challenging to measure in dollars, these losses have value.
Merely paying your medical bills and lost wages does not compensate you for the physical pain you endured and your worries about whether you would lose your job because you had so much sick time. Getting monetary damages for your doctor and hospital expenses does not address the fact that you might be disfigured for the rest of your life. Recovering money for your non-economic losses honors the intangible harm you suffered.
For a free legal consultation, call (412) 661-1400
What We Have to Prove to Win a Medical Negligence Case
Medical negligence is not the same as a standard negligence case. You do not have to show, for example, that someone who caused a car accident drove more carelessly than most similar people in his neighborhood or city. You do, however, need to compare the actions of a doctor or hospital to other medical professionals or facilities in that area.
We will have to prove that the harm you experienced was the result of medical negligence. A qualified medical expert will have to sign a “certificate of merit” that says there is “there exists a reasonable probability that the care, skill or knowledge exercised or exhibited in the treatment, practice or work that is the subject of the complaint, fell outside acceptable professional standards and that such conduct was a cause in bringing about the harm,” according to 231 Pa. CSA § 1042.3.
How Much Time You Have to File a Medical Negligence Action
Our state laws give you little time to take legal action against someone who harmed you through medical negligence. Generally, you only have two years to file the lawsuit in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. If you miss the deadline, you can lose the right to hold the at-fault party financially accountable for your losses.
If you think that you or a loved one might have been the victim of medical negligence, you can call Berger and Green today at (412) 661-1400. We offer free consultations with no obligation.