Charles E. Boyk Law Offices, LLC
If you have been the victim of a medically negligent doctor, it is imperative that you get in touch with an attorney. A legal advocate can help you collect evidence in order to establish that your doctor was negligent and is therefore at-fault for your suffering. A qualified medical malpractice lawyer will have experience recovering damages in Toledo medical malpractice cases and can help you pursue damages for your malpractice case.
There are many kinds of damages in Toledo medical malpractice cases that a person can recover. A person can recover economic damages. Economic damages would be money for medical bills, including medical expenses in the past and medical expenses in the future as well as economic loss, which would be lost work if somebody has a permanent injury and no longer can work or no longer work at the quality of jobs that they work before. Lawyers often use economists to determine future economic loss. In addition, a person could get recovery from future medical bills.
Non-economic loss would be money for pain and suffering, future pain and suffering, and permanency of the injury. Typically, punitive damages would only be allowed for reckless conduct or intentionally false conduct. That would be some portion of the economic damages. Punitive damages would be rare in medical malpractice cases. One example might be if it can be shown that the doctor falsified the records, intentionally tried to conceal the problem, and got two sets of records. Punitive damages would be available, but it would have to be shown that there was reckless or intentional conduct to the fraud of the patient.
Typically, damages in Toledo medical malpractice cases would be calculated by the jury. The judge would give specific instructions to the jury, but the jury would determine all the damages including economic, non-economic, and punitive damages in such a case.
They would have medical testimony as far as specific past lost wages and future medical expenses, based on a doctor’s testimony to a reasonable degree of medical certainty, which is the standard of 51 percent or more. That means it is more likely than not that the expert witness would be given an opinion as far as what future medical bills would be incurred.
Economic loss would typically be done through an economist who would give opinions to a reasonable degree of economic certainty as far as loss of future income. Pain and suffering is a number for which there is no magic formula. A person would have to have testimony from the doctor as far as what the impact is on the individual. Then they would have a witness testimony as far as testimony of the patient and the patient’s friends, family, or acquaintances that would talk about the pain.
What is unique about non-economic damages in Toledo medical malpractice cases is that all the other elements of damages are based on actual numbers. Medical bills, for example, have an actual listing that is black and white as far as past medical bills or future medical bills. There is also the opinion of a board-certified doctor or a dispute between expert witnesses, the plaintiff, and defense as far as what the amount of future medical bills may be. The same thing goes for economic damages. There is going to be somebody using mathematical calculations based on events. Pain and suffering is a very gray area, because it is based more on emotion and convincing a jury what the impact is on somebody’s life. There is no magic formula other than their common sense, experience in the community, and the testimony of the witnesses to come up with a black and white number for pain and suffering.
Typically, there is no cap on a wrongful death case under Ohio law. There is no cap on wrongful deaths that are medical malpractice wrongful death cases. There are no caps on economic damages in Toledo medical malpractice cases. If a person can prove that there is a million dollars or 10 million dollars of economic damages, there is not a cap. If there is a catastrophic injury, it would be a question of act for the jury.
If there is a catastrophic injury that includes loss of a body part, like a leg, or loss of a bodily function, it is considered a catastrophic injury and there’s no cap on pain and suffering. If it meets the threshold of a cap of a catastrophic injury, there would be a cap of $300,000 for pain and suffering for an individual and $500,000 for pain and suffering for a married person under Ohio law.
Punitive damages may be applied to malpractice cases if reckless conduct was involved such as making up the records, changing the records, having couple of sets of the records to lie and cheat, sexual misconduct, or a situation where the hospital knew that the doctor was not licensed and allowed them to see patients. That would be a situation where potentially a person can obtain punitive damages.
Punitive damages in Toledo medical malpractice cases are rare. Typically, fraud, reckless conduct, or an intentional act must be proved. The only situations that potentially involve punitive damages would be if the doctor or the hospital falsified records, or they sue for medical malpractice where there is some sort of sexual assault during the procedure by a doctor or patient. Normally, that is not going to be a medical malpractice case.
A recent case involves a claim on behalf of numerous patients that there is a physical and/or sexual assault. Lawyers try to frame it in the context of a medical malpractice case. Typically in that situation, a person can get punitive damages for some outrageous conduct by the doctor or the medical facility.