When a patient suffers harm or injury because a doctor or other medical professional did not provide medical care above acceptable standards, the patient is entitled to medical malpractice damages.
Examples of such harm include:
- Failure to diagnose (or misdiagnosing) a medical condition
- Failure to follow appropriate medical procedures when treating the patient
- Failing to warn the patient of known risks of a medical procedure or prescribed medication
We discuss the burden of proof in medical malpractice cases in our February 13, 2014 post on the subject. However, one area of medical malpractice many have questions about is the amount of damages they owed in such cases.
Patients are, of course, entitled to medical remuneration for any and all resulting medical care and recovery, along with any lost income and loss (or diminishment) of earning capacity. These are what's known as "economic damages" resulting from medical malpractice, in other words: damages that are tied to monetary figures and are quantifiable.
Damages in Illinois medical malpractice claims have been on a roller coaster ride since 1995. In 1995, the Illinois legislature set a $500,000.00 cap on non-economic damages. But in 1997, the Supreme Court of Illinois found that cap unconstitutional. Then, in 2005, the Illinois legislature again amended the statute as it did in 1995 wherein there was a $500,000.00 limit on the amount a patient could be awarded for cases against a physician or other medical professional and a $1 million limit on any awards against a hospital or other healthcare facility. This only lasted until 2010, when the Illinois Supreme Court declared again this limit unconstitutional in the case of LeBron v. Gottlieb Memorial Hospital. (There is not, and has never been, any cap on economic damages in such cases).
Non economic damages in these cases include: remuneration for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment, anxiety, lost companionship, scars and disfigurement, and additional negative effects of the injuries suffered.
The fact is victims of medical malpractice are eligible to receive a myriad of damages and it takes an skilled personal injury lawyer like the medical malpractice attorneys of Panio Law offices to review the circumstances surrounding any given case to help determine the appropriate defendant(s) and what steps to take to prove your case.
If you have questions about a medical malpractice claim, please call 888.799.7561. We can help.