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Damages in Medical Malpractice Cases

Syracuse Lawyers for Victims of Professional Negligence

If you were harmed by medical malpractice, you may be able to recover money for your losses by bringing a lawsuit against the party or parties responsible for the malpractice. Medical malpractice lawsuits can be challenging and intricate. They usually require expert testimony, and sometimes more than one expert must testify. Calculation of damages in medical malpractice cases may also require expert testimony. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano, our seasoned Syracuse medical malpractice attorneys provide tough, knowledgeable representation to victims of negligent health care providers.

Damages in Medical Malpractice Cases

In order to recover damages in a medical malpractice lawsuit, you will need to prove: (1) a health care provider owed you a professional duty of care, (2) breach of the professional standard of care, (3) causation, and (4) damages. The professional standard of care will be determined according to what competent health care providers practicing in the same specialty and the same geographical region would have done under similar or the same circumstances. If you can establish a health care provider’s liability, you may be able to recover compensatory and punitive damages.

Compensatory Damages

Compensatory damages in medical malpractice cases are amounts meant to put you back into the position you would have been in had there been no professional negligence. They can include both the economic losses you sustain out-of-pocket, along with intangible damages that may be harder to quantify. Economic losses can include the cost of medical bills, lost wages, nursing care, therapy, rehabilitation, medical equipment, and even changes to your home that must be made due to your injuries arising out of medical malpractice. It may be necessary for you to retain someone to clean your house and perform other household services you are no longer able to do, and you may be able to recover for those tangible losses as well. Economic losses are usually more precise than noneconomic losses because there are receipts, medical bills, or invoices for the costs already incurred.

You can recover future economic losses along with past ones. However, to recover for future losses it may be necessary to retain an economist to testify as to your future life expectancy, along with what economic losses you are expected to incur. For instance, if you are paralyzed as a result of a botched spine surgery and can no longer work in your previous vocation, you may be able to recover the future wages you lose in a medical malpractice lawsuit. An expert can calculate what those losses would be given your expected life span, what you earned prior to your injury, any expected increases in your earnings that would have occurred, and the number of years you would have had left to work. A skilled medical malpractice lawyer can assist you in locating and working with appropriate experts for your case.

Noneconomic losses arising out of medical malpractice can include amounts for pain and suffering, scarring and disfigurement, loss of consortium, and loss of enjoyment. These losses can vary significantly depending on your personal characteristics. For example, if you are left paralyzed as a result of a neck surgery and you were highly active in recreational sports activities, you may experience a significant loss of enjoyment as a result of the malpractice associated with your surgery.

Punitive Damages

In some rare cases, it may be appropriate to request punitive damages against a healthcare provider you are suing for medical malpractice. Unlike compensatory damages, punitive damages are meant to punish and deter someone who has acted intentionally, recklessly or wantonly. The conduct at issue needs to be so egregious that it’s equal to intentional misconduct.

Wrongful Death

Sometimes medical malpractice results in a patient’s death, and survivors may be able to recover economic losses arising out of the untimely passing. These damages can include funeral and burial costs, the victim’s lost wages, inheritance losses, loss for services provided by the decedent, and lost parental guidance where the decedent was a parent.

Retain a Seasoned Medical Malpractice Attorney in Syracuse

If you were harmed by a health care provider in Syracuse, you can consult a lawyer discuss whether you may be able to recover damages in a medical malpractice case. DeFrancisco & Falgiatano represents patients in Rochester, Syracuse and throughout Upstate New York, including in Watertown, Oswego, Canandaigua, Lowville, Herkimer, Binghamton, Utica, Cooperstown, Oneida, Ithaca, Wampsville, Auburn, Lyons, and Elmira. Call DeFrancisco & Falgiatano at 315-479-9000 or contact us via our online form.

Client Reviews
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"We were very impressed with how Jeff DeFrancisco represented us at trial and we were extremely happy when the jury found in our favor." D.M., Auburn, NY
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"I cannot express in words what an awesome job Charlie Falgiatano and Jean Marie Westlake did in representing my family in my mother's case at trial. There can never be enough thank-yous." D.L., Cortland, NY
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"I suffered a serious injury as a result of medical malpractice. My husband and I retained Jeff DeFrancisco to assist us in this case. We were extremely happy with his representation and highly recommend him." Kelley R., Syracuse, NY
★★★★★
Since the insurance company was unwilling to settle the matter my case ultimately went to trial. At trial Jeff DeFrancisco did an absolutely amazing job by obtaining a very favorable result for me." T.H., Oneida, NY
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"I highly recommend DeFrancisco & Falgiatano - Charlie represented me for a medical malpractice case. He is the best of the best. He is friendly and I am very happy with the representation he provided." Roger N., Oneida, NY