Medical malpractice can result in the harm or death of an individual at the hands of a medical practitioner. In order to pursue a medical malpractice claim, an individual must prove four elements:
1. A physician was charged with duty of care.
2. The physician failed to provide appropriate care.
3. The individual suffered as a result.
4. The suffering was caused by the inappropriate standard of care given.
Should a medical malpractice case be pursued, the harmed individual or the family of the individual may be entitled to receive one of three types of damages:
1. General damages: This category refers to suffering that cannot be quantified with a dollar amount; for example, if the individual has lost enjoyment of life, endures mental or physical suffering, or cannot secure future employment.
2. Special damages: Special damages cover what can be measured quantitatively, such as medical bills and missed work. Unlike general damages, special damages are much easier to calculate.
3. Punitive damages: Less common than general or special damages, punitive damages can be awarded when the physician knows that he or she was behaving in a harmful manner.
If you have been the victim of medical malpractice, contact an attorney.
About the Author:
Douglas Borthwick is a lawyer practicing in California. He currently serves as General Counsel for LumpSumIn Relocation Incorporated, but has prior experience helping clients with medical malpractice suits.
This site is designed for general information only. The information presented should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.