What Are Compensatory Damages?
When seeking medical attention you should be able to count on a reasonable level of skill and care from the medical professionals that treat you. If those medical professionals are negligent then the patient has a right to seek compensatory damages. The damages awarded are not only to cover the patient’s medical costs and to ease their suffering and any of the difficulties that are a result of the injury; these damages are an incentive to all medical professionals to provide adequate care to every one of their patients.
Damages can be generally categorized in these areas:
- Medical costs, both current and future
- Pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of income or loss of future earning capacity
- Wrongful death
Often times it is difficult to put a dollar amount on these damages, but there are some standard guidelines insurance companies use when estimating claim amounts. This then is used to customize the compensation calculation for each case.
In order to prove their case, the patient may be required to give expert testimony about the negligence that their doctor committed. They may also need to procure experts who then will calculate the speculative items like the earning capacity and loss of enjoyment of life.