Determining Damages in New York Medical Malpractice Cases

Medical providers can make mistakes and errors that result in traumatic injuries and life-threatening conditions. When a doctor, hospital, nurse, or other medical provider is negligent or breaches the duty of care owed to a patient, that medical provider may be held liable for damages in a medical malpractice claim. Proving malpractice is only one step in recovering compensation for a claim. To help you understand more about damages, our New York medical malpractice attorney discusses some of the challenges of proving damages in a medical malpractice case.

Proving Damages in a New York Medical Malpractice Case

Once we prove that malpractice occurred and your injury was a direct result of the malpractice, it is time to determine and prove damages. When determining the damages in your case, we consider your economic and non-economic damages when calculating the value of your claim.

Economic Damages

Economic damages are the easiest to determine and prove because they are your out-of-pocket financial losses related to your injuries. To calculate the amount of your economic damages, we obtain copies of bills, invoices, receipts, income statements, and pay advices. These documents provide the total financial loss, but they also provide evidence to prove you sustained these damages.

Examples of financial losses include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Loss of income
  • Travel expenses
  • Physical therapy
  • Cost of domestic help and home care
  • Diagnostic tests
  • Medications
  • Medical equipment

Keeping detailed records and copies of proof of payment or cost can help maximize the amount you may recover for financial losses.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are your “pain and suffering” damages. It is more difficult to determine these damages because there are no receipts or bills to prove the actual value of the damages. It is also difficult to quantify non-economic damages because pain & suffering is subjective.

Several factors are used to determine the value of your non-economic damages. Some of those factors are:

  • The severity of your injuries;
  • The length of your recovery;
  • How the injuries impact your daily life;
  • Whether you suffered permanent impairments or disabilities;
  • Whether you have scars or other forms of disfigurement;
  • How your injuries impacted your relationships with others; and,
  • Whether you suffered any emotional or mental disorders or conditions because of the incident or injuries (i.e. depression, anxiety, PTSD, etc.).

Evidence of non-economic damages may include:

  • Medical records
  • Statements from physicians and experts regarding the severity of the injuries and the prognosis
  • Photographs of physical wounds and injuries
  • Statements from friends and family members detailing your struggle and how your injuries affected them
  • Journal entries from you detailing your pain and suffering during your recovery

Future Damages

In cases involving permanent impairments and disabilities, you may also be entitled to future damages. Future damages typically include compensation for your ongoing medical and personal care. It also includes compensation for loss of future income or loss of earning capacity.

In most cases, financial and medical experts are retained to determine the amount of future damages. For a young person who is completely disabled because of the medical malpractice, future damages could be substantial when you factor in life expectancy.

Contact a New York Medical Malpractice Attorney for More Information

Medical malpractice claims are usually complex cases to litigate. Contact our New York medical malpractice attorneys today to discuss your case. An experienced New York medical malpractice attorney has the resources, skills, knowledge, and experience to handle complex claims.

About the Author
Of all the different areas in medical malpractice, it is podiatry malpractice that has had a particular interest to me. With 42 years practicing law and representing hundreds of victims of malpractice, I have created a law practice in which my clients are comfortable knowing that their case is being handled with my personal attention, in the most professional manner, and without unreasonable delays.