Oklahoma City Medical Malpractice Damages
Following an instance of medical malpractice, an injured or ill person may pursue recovery for the damages that they sustained as a result of a medical professional’s negligence. Oklahoma City medical malpractice damages are separated into three categories: economic, non-economic, and punitive. A medical malpractice attorney could help a plaintiff recover compensation and return to financial and emotional stability.
Economic damages are the financial damages that can be shown through documentation of medical bills, lost income, and other expenses. They are specifically quantifiable in dollar amounts. For example, if a doctor performed an error and the plaintiff had to have corrective surgery, the cost of that surgery would be an economic damage.
In some cases, economic damages will account for future financial expenses in addition to expenses already endured by the plaintiff. An economist could testify to a person’s prospective lost income due to a debilitating injury, for example.
Non-economic damages look at the pain and suffering that occurred, any future pain and suffering, disfigurement, and other emotional damages. Unlike economic damages, non-economic damages are not easily quantifiable. Rather, they are based on experience. At a bench trial, the judge calculates noneconomic damages, whereas in a jury trial, the twelve jurors agree on a final calculation.
Punitive damages are damages that the jury or judge would award based on the defendant’s conduct. Such damages are meant to punish the for wanton or egregious recklessness. A plaintiff might receive punitive damages in a medical malpractice case in Oklahoma City if there was intentional conduct by the doctor, such as if they were drunk or did something with intentionally careless disregard.
If a hospital does not properly supervise their staff or properly hire enough people, or if something happens that was easily preventable, then a jury may award punitive damages.
The standard for punitive damages is higher than the initial standard for malpractice, so the plaintiff has a burden of proving by clear and convincing evidence. As a result, punitive damages are relatively rare, and will only be awarded in a small percentage of medical malpractice cases. An attorney could work to meet the higher standard necessary to recover punitive damages.
There is no ratio for determining punitive damages in Oklahoma City – the final awarded amount will be whatever the jury thinks is fair. If the award is unreasonably high or something like that, the defense may file a motion with the judge to reduce it or appeal it.
How an Attorney Could Handle Medical Malpractice Damages
Oklahoma City medical malpractice attorneys could help pursue damages in a case by collecting as much evidence as possible and demonstrating that the defendant either knew that what they were doing was wrong or was acting carelessly. An attorney may hire expert witnesses to establish a defendant’s negligence, or cite information from the plaintiff’s medical records.
If you need help pursuing medical malpractice damages in Oklahoma City, reach out to an experienced personal injury lawyer to schedule a consultation.