Damages in Medical Malpractice Cases

In the state of Florida, Chapter 766 of the Florida Statutes sets forth the laws on Medical Malpractice and Related Matters. Among other things, the law provides information on the types of damages that medical malpractice victims and their families can obtain compensation for from care providers after medical negligence occurs.

Compensable damages in medical malpractice cases include economic and noneconomic damages.

Economic damages are calculated by determining actual financial expenditures and losses due to the injury a care provider caused. Medical expenditures to treat injuries resulting from malpractice are considered economic damages. Missed work, lost vacation time and lost sick days also cause economic damage.

Malpractice victims may be compensated for provable past financial loss, and expected future financial loss due to reduced earning power and ongoing medical bills. If a malpractice victim is killed, family members may recover treatment costs from prior to death, funeral expenses, and loss of the deceased’s wages as actual economic damages.

Non-economic damages are also recoverable. These damages compensate for pain and suffering; emotional distress; or lost companionship in case of wrongful death. Florida Statute 766.118 imposes a damage cap or limit on noneconomic damages.

Noneconomic damages generally cannot exceed $500,000 for serious injury, regardless of the number of practitioners who are sued for medical negligence. There are limited exceptions where up to $1 million in noneconomic damages may be paid out if it would be an injustice to provide less compensation due to special circumstances or particularly severe economic harm.

If death occurred or the victim was left in a permanent vegetative state, non-economic damages are capped at $1 million.

A Florida medical malpractice lawyer can provide assistance to victims, or family members of victims, who wish to seek the maximum compensation possible after losses caused by medical malpractice.