Medical malpractice refers to a healthcare provider such as a doctor, nurse, or facility causing preventable harm to a patient, generally due to negligence. The effects of this negligence may be small, such as an extended period of illness or additional hospital stays, or they could be serious, causing permanent injuries, disability, or even death. If you have been wronged by a medical provider, you may wish to know how much your medical malpractice settlement in Lakeland, FL may be worth.
Any victim of a preventable medical error is entitled to damages. Though the harm resulting from the medical malpractice cannot be undone, compensation in the form of covering the unnecessary medical bills as well as additional compensation for pain and suffering lost wages, and other damages are common. This compensation is intended to help you, as the victim of medical malpractice, improve your life and recover from the harm done to you.
Determining a Medical Malpractice Settlement in Florida
Nationally, the average payout for a medical malpractice settlement is around $242,000. However, you may be wondering how medical malpractice attorneys in Lakeland, FL arrive at the figures they use for settlements? Is there a formula, and can you use it to get an idea of what your medical malpractice case may be worth? The answer is yes, though to be sure you should consult with a medical malpractice lawyer in Lakeland, FL. Every case is unique, and while the formula may be useful for ‘ballpark’ estimates, a medical malpractice attorney examining your case may determine the value of your case to be lower or higher.
The formula used to determine the value of a settlement is Past and Future Economic Damages + Past and Future Non-Economic Damages. Since this formula includes not only what your injury has cost you thus far, but also what it may reasonably cost you in the future, this value is not always easy to determine. This is the value that will be considered by a jury should the case not be settled before moving to trial, so over-estimating future damages can cause even a strong medical malpractice case to fail.
Economic Damages in Lakeland, FL Medical Malpractice Cases
Economic damages are the easier of the two to calculate because they can be traced to actual costs due to medical bills, and exact figures of lost wages. Even future economic advantages can be accurately estimated using expected recovery periods. Medical expenses past and future including surgeries, therapeutic costs, and any lost wages in the past and future. You will also need to take into account past and future costs for equipment like home medical equipment, wheelchairs, prostheses, and medications.
While no one can be sure of their future costs, most medical malpractice attorneys in Lakeland, Florida, will apply inductive reasoning to determine a fair and safe estimate as to what your future costs may be. In catastrophic cases, experts or economists may be consulted to compare the present-day value of healthcare to what those costs may be in the future, even over a person’s lifetime, considering factors like economic shifts, inflation, and new technologies. This will give victims of medical malpractice the best chance of having future security and ongoing care.
Non-Economic Damages for a Lakeland Medical Malpractice Settlement
Non-economic damages associated with medical malpractice settlements, unlike their economic counterparts, cannot be calculated so precisely. These damages account for things like pain and suffering, mental distress, disfigurement, inconvenience, and loss of consortium, all considered both in the past and in the future. It is difficult to know how insurance adjusters, attorneys, judges, and juries will address non-economic damages. Your medical malpractice attorney in Lakeland, Florida, will likely consider recent verdicts and settlements awarded in cases similar to your own. With this precedent and guidance in case, you can work toward recovering a fair and just medical malpractice settlement.
In the state of Florida, non-economic damages are also subject to a damage cap by statute. This cap must be considered as well by your medical malpractice attorney in Lakeland, but the good news is that in most cases, this cap does not play a large role in the settlement. There is no cap on the amount of economic damages a victim may recover, as these damages can be traced to actual costs of care, recovery, and living. The cap on non-economic damages varies according to the circumstances of your case, and ranges from $500,000 to $1 million – however, non-economic damages generally fall rather easily under these maximums.
Consult with a Florida Attorney to Discuss Your Medical Malpractice Settlement
If you have been harmed by a healthcare provider and believe you may be entitled to a medical malpractice settlement in Lakeland FL, contact the law offices of Burnetti, P.A. today.