A cursory search using any of the more popular search engines will show that there are plenty of Philadelphia medical malpractice attorney offices. And that is something quite alarming, as it is indicative that medical malpractice is so common these days. Just how common is medical malpractice? Even the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), claims that medical negligence just ranks behind heart disease and cancer as the third leading cause of death in the US. This is why it is very important for us to understand a little more about the forms of compensation and the basis for determining what constitutes ‘just’ compensation.
If Philadelphia PA medical malpractice attorneys are able to keep their practices going from the share of compensations received by their clients, it must be substantial. In fact, in 2012, total payout for cases involving medical negligence has been estimated at more than $3 billion. But considering the difficulty of proving a case of malpractice in court, they are only earning their keep. The American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys has a lot of good malpractice lawyers on their list.
There are only two basic types of compensation awarded: those damages which are subject to mathematical computation such as ‘economic’ and ‘special’, and those damages for which there is no way to compute mathematically such as ‘pain and suffering’ and the ‘loss of the ability to properly interact with the victim’s family.’
The two forms of compensation that can be mathematically determined are not that hard to understand. One involves the loss or diminishing of earning capacity as a consequence of injury caused by medical malpractice. This may include permanent or temporary loss of income, or diminished earning capacity as a result of the injury. A person who has a lucrative career in fine arts for example may not be able to continue on the same career path if medical negligence has deprived him of sight. In such cases, the difference between his former income and whatever employment option is left to him is computed till retirement age. For full and permanent disability and death, all the income from the time of injury to retirement can be used as a basis of the damage claim amount.
Special damages are meant to compensate for any medical care the victim would need to undergo as a consequence of medical malpractice. Computation includes the period the victim would require special care, which may be for a temporary period or throughout his life.
It is in the area of ‘non-economic’ damages that a medical malpractice lawyer Philadelphia will have a lot of latitude. There is no way to value ‘pain and suffering’ and such vague concepts as ‘loss of the ability to properly interact with the victim’s family’ and some states have not imposed limits to the amounts plaintiffs can ask for. The best medical malpractice lawyers use expert testimonies, documentary evidence, and the victim’s own testimony whenever possible to paint the worst scenario possible to justify the amounts they are asking for in behalf of the victim.
For the most part, all we laymen need to know is that when we feel we have suffered injury resulting from medical malpractice, we need advice from the best medical malpractice lawyer Philadelphia.