Medical Malpractice occurs when a patient is injured by the failure of a doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care practitioner to provide reasonably prudent medical care. It also occurs when the same medical professionals fail to advise the patient of the foreseeable risks and/ or alternative methods of treatment pertinent to a patients care. At The Simon Law Group, we believe that the key to a successful medical malpractice case is thorough evaluation before a case is ever filed. It is necessary to determine if an improper diagnosis was made, errors during surgery were committed, medical devices were improperly used, improper birth delivery occurred resulting in birth level damages, pharmacist mistakes were made resulting in improper dosages or wrong medications being issued, or a host of other possible negligent acts by medical professionals. Medical malpractice is a very specific area of the law which the attorneys at The Simon Law Group take pride in focusing on. All of our lives depend in one way or another on the competence of medical professionals. They must be held accountable for their mistakes in order to improve medical care for future generations.
In even simple medical malpractice cases which involve permanent impairment, settlements can range anywhere from $100,000 up to 10 million dollars plus. In most cases, the important factors when ascertaining the level of settlement is specifically based on the amount of medical bills, the pain and suffering, life care costs and employment damages.
Medical bills often can run well above $100,000 if there was extended hospitalization with subsequent physical and vocational rehabilitation. Getting these bills paid is often the primary goal of the malpractice victim’s family. Often when a doctor or hospital employee is at fault for the injury, their insurance companies adjuster will attempt to approach you as soon as possible after the injury in order to offer a settlement. These settlements will include “taking care of all of the medical bills”. It is very tempting to sign papers and accept the settlement, however, they will not adequately pay for the years of life care that will follow along with vocational training which will be necessary after the immediate hospital stay. Never accept any type of settlement with an adjuster before speaking with a qualified attorney who handles medical malpractice cases. Remember, medical malpractice cases are different than other types of cases. Simply settling for three or five times the medical bills is not an option with these cases. Many times when individuals are comatose, the medical bills will remain steady and constant, yet the damage to their future lives is increased dramatically with every day they are in a coma. Make sure you contact The Simon Law Group immediately if you are approached by an insurance adjuster, or if another attorney has suggested that you settle for “three times the medical bills”.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering calculations are often combined with employment losses and damage to ones family life. Usually, in order to ascertain these types of damages, you will have to look at the lifelong impact on the malpractice victim. It is important to focus on how much the life care costs will be along with the employment losses and damage to the victim’s family life. Many times the award given by juries regarding pain and suffering can be larger than all the other damages combined. This is sometimes due to the fact that even though somebody’s future earning capacities would total $1,000,000 in their lifetime, it is not worth any amount of money to live in constant pain, with vastly lowered mobility. The same holds true even if the injury still allows the victim to work, but his life enjoyment is greatly reduced.
Life Care Costs
Life care costs are often defined as not only the future medical bills, but also the amount it will cost to secure rehabilitative treatment and in-home care. Many times the vast majority of the in-home care will be conducted by family members. This does not mean that this care was “free” or “without cost”. Family care can be even more taxing and costly to the family unit due to the fact that it may remove other members from their employment. It is very important to your case to secure the proper experts and produce the right testimony during the settlement phase or, if necessary, at trial. At The Simon Law Group we will secure the top life care experts to work on your family member’s case.
Employment damages also need to be calculated when dealing with a medical malpractice case. Many times a person will no longer be qualified to perform the work they were doing prior to their injury. However, they may be able to secure employment in a different field. Many times this “secondary” field of employment pays a much lower wage than what they were previously making. In severe cases, malpractice victims are often unable to work at all. In other cases, the injury has occurred to a child prior to them being given the opportunity to go to college, or receive training to secure a job. Determining their losses requires a highly skilled law firm, such as The Simon Law Group.
Sometimes the injury can be more discrete, and not quite as noticeable. Although the malpractice victim may secure employment, they often lose that employment shortly thereafter, or they do not get promoted within their workplace. Again, it takes a highly skilled lawyer to pinpoint these facts when determining the amount of employment losses.
Once an individual has suffered medical malpractice injury, even if it is slight, often their employment lifespan will be shorter than before. In order to calculate damages, it is necessary to look at what a person was making and what they would have made prior to their injury. You then look to what they will now make, and you calculate how much money will be lost over the course of their working career. You also must factor in if they have a shorter working career than they would have had before the injury. Many times a true number can be calculated by utilizing a multiplier dealing with inflation and an increase in a certain occupations’ market value. It is important to have the proper vocational expert calculate these types of future loses.
Although many times this may not be the largest number requested when calculating damages, it is often the most understandable number to the average person. The average juror will understand “the malpractice victim will lose ‘x’ amount of dollars over his lifetime, and his family will never see this money”. When this number is combined with existing medical bills and projected future life care costs, it will magnify the pain and suffering award greatly. It is easy for a jury to understand how a victim once destined for a full and rewarding personal and employment life fears he will be forced to settle for less. The juror will understand that it is their role to make sure that person does not have to “settle for less”. At The Simon Law Group, we also make sure that the insurance company knows this too and we will increase your loved one’s chances of a large settlement prior to any type of trial.
The Firm has handled 100 jury trials of all types. Mr. Simon has over 29 years of legal experience! The Simon Law Group — Experience Matters!!! Not only will we fight for you to secure the highest settlement possible, we will also assist you with doctors treatment and medical liens which will prevent any out of pocket costs being paid by you, up front. If you wish to contact us, you can call us at our office, or you can click on “Contact Our Firm” and E-mail us directly. At The Simon Law Group, you are not just a client, but a friend in need.