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Punitive Damages in Toledo Medical Malpractice Cases

As defined by law, punitive damages in Toledo medical malpractice cases are typically used to punish for outrageous behavior of the medical profession. For example, if the evidence shows that the medical professional did the specific act intentionally or, for example, showed that the doctor altered records, then that would be potentially an issue that the court could award punitive damages.

Circumstances would include an intentional act such as altering of records or if the doctor was under the influence of drugs or alcohol when they performed the medical procedure. It has to be some sort of reckless or outrageous conduct that shocks the normal person, and that would be a question of fact for a jury.

The types of damages an injured person receives as compensation can impact the kind of recovery they have from their accident. An experienced attorney can help you seek the appropriate amount of medical malpractice damages that can fairly compensate you for your losses.

Understanding the Rarity of Punitive Damages

Punitive damages in Toledo medical malpractice cases are rarely awarded in a medical malpractice case. Typically, if there are any of those behaviors, the insurance company for the medical professional will do a good job of trying to settle those cases. If somebody intentionally sexually molested a patient, it normally becomes an assault case and not a medical malpractice case. In those types of cases, there is usually no insurance coverage.

Defining Influential Factors

While there are exceptions, the rule for calculating punitive damages is normally two times the amount of the economic damages. That is the highest it is allowed to be calculated in Ohio. Typically, a person would have to show outrageous conduct that would shock the conscience of the average individual in the community, such as being under the influence of drugs or alcohol, doing something wrong intentionally, altering medical records, bribing witnesses, and getting other people to lie for them. It would have to be something outrageous.

Role of a Medical Malpractice Attorney

While a jury is not instructed on formulas, ratios, or limits for punitive damages in Toledo medical malpractice cases, the judge will not enter a judgment in excess of two times the amount of economic damages despite the jury’s decision. The award could be less than that though. If there is a potential punitive damage case, one would want witnesses and documentation that would substantially support that information and be something that one would use as a bargaining chip to settle the case.

If one could show, for example, that the doctor falsified records, it would probably substantially increase the value of the case. That is something a person would want to explore with as many witnesses, videotaped depositions, certified copies of acts of witnesses, and certified copies of documents. One would want to present that to the other side early because it could substantially increase the value and the speed of resolving the case.