How Pain and Suffering is Calculated in Medical Malpractice Cases

A frustrated doctor facing medical malpractice claims

Medical malpractice happens quite often. Medical mistakes lead to injuries, medical bills and often intense pain and suffering. While it’s easy to determine your economic damages, finding out how much money you can receive for pain and suffering is a bit more complicated.

Pain and suffering is often limited by caps on non-economic damages. Caps tend to apply to medical malpractice cases. While many states have damage caps under $500,000, New York is one of more than a dozen states that has no cap on any types of damages. This means you could receive millions of dollars for your pain and suffering, depending on the severity of your injuries.

Average Pain and Suffering Settlements for Medical Malpractice

In New York, many types of medical malpractice cases are settled outside of court or via a jury verdict. Awards for failure to diagnose cancer and other terminal diseases tend to range from $1 million to $1.5 million. Surgical malpractice can lead to a $2 million settlement. Brain injuries tend to settle for $2.5 million to $3 million, while wrongful death cases often settle for around $3.5 million.

However, not every person who suffers from medical malpractice will receive these amounts of money. Each case is different, and there are numerous elements involved. Plus, pain and suffering amounts are often determined by the jury, so they may not award the same amount for each case. It will depend on all the facts involved. For example, age and activity level may be factors. A young, active man who becomes disabled will likely receive more money than an 80-year-old sedentary man, since the younger man will be more impacted.

Using a Pain and Suffering Calculator

There are two types of damages for which you can receive compensation: special and general damages. Special damages are the economic ones you can easily calculate, such as medical bills and lost wages. General damages include pain and suffering. These damages will be based on your special damages.

A good way to calculate your general damages is to add up your special damages and multiply them by a number between 1.5 and 5. You would use 1.5 for less serious and 4 or 5 for more serious injuries that are long-term and have led to paralysis, amputation and severe disabilities.

You will want to think about the injuries impact your daily life and how long your recovery will take. Will you even make a full recovery? Also, the higher the amount of your economic damages, the higher you pain and suffering compensation will likely be.

Work with an Experienced Medical Malpractice Lawyer

If you have been injured by a doctor’s negligence, it’s important that you receive the compensation you deserve to pay for damages. Damages include non-economic damages such as pain and suffering.

Pain and suffering is just one of the damages for which you can receive compensation. Learn more about your options for financial recovery. Contact an experienced medical malpractice lawyer from Peters Berger Koshel & Goldberg, P.C. for assistance. Call (800) 836-7801 to schedule a free initial consultation.

 


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