3 Types of Damages in Medical Malpractice

When your injury meets the requirements for a medical malpractice lawsuit, you may be able to recover damages (a sum of money) if your case is successful. There are three basic types of damages in medical malpractice cases:

1. General Damages. It is difficult to *put a price on* these types of damages. Some examples are pain and suffering (both mental and physical), losing the ability to earn a living in the future, or losing your enjoyment of life. Although these injuries are real, determining their value may require the testimony of expert witnesses.

2. Special Damages. This type of damage includes an expense that is easier to determine. For example, medical bills and lost wages would fall under the special damages category. However, an expert may still be needed for calculating situations such as future medical expenses.

3. Punitive Damages. In order to recover punitive damages, the basic requirement is proving that the healthcare provider knew their behavior was harmful and he or she performed it anyway. For example, if a doctor intentionally made a mistake so you would have to return for further care, then you may be able to seek punitive damages.

For each of these types, you must also show a general amount of money that can be attached to the damages. There are Tennessee state laws, referred to as "damage caps", regulating these amounts. Additionally, there are different types of compensation, such as "economic" and "non-economic" that can affect the financial outcome of your case. So it is important to contact our attorneys if you have suffered an injury while under the care of a health provider.

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