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Damages For Medical Malpractice Claims In Georgia

Under Georgia law, you have the right to collect compensation for your physical, emotional and financial losses following an act of medical malpractice. These may include economic damages, noneconomic damages, and, in rare cases, punitive damages.

Our personal injury and medical malpractice lawyers at Hilley & Frieder, P.C., have been helping clients throughout the greater Atlanta area hold negligent medical professionals accountable for unnecessary injuries for over 35 years. If you believe that you suffered additional injuries or illness because of health care negligence, our team can assess your claims and help you pursue your case.

Calculating Damages In Medical Malpractice Claims

In a typical medical malpractice claim, financial compensation is calculated in two parts: economic damages and noneconomic damages.

Medical Negligence: Determining Economic Damages

Economic damages are added up using bills and receipts that document how much you spent or owe because of your injury or illness. Economic damages can include:

  • Medical bills and expenses
  • Disability accommodations
  • Home or vehicle modifications
  • Lost wages
  • Physical therapy
  • Travel costs
  • Out-of-pocket expenses

Economic damages will project calculations for future economic losses and lifetime care, adjusted for inflation. Economic expenses also include your legal fees.

However, you cannot claim compensation for medical expenses that are related to the injury or illness that caused you to seek care in the first place. Any damages from a medical malpractice claim must have resulted from the negligence of the medical professional.

Medical Negligence: Determining Noneconomic Damages

Noneconomic damages, on the other hand, refer to the intangible pain and suffering that you endure because of a professional’s medical negligence or malpractice. These damages may include the following losses:

  • Anxiety and depression
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Disability
  • Chronic pain

Noneconomic damages are more difficult to calculate. Pain and suffering awards are typically left up to a jury to decide.

Determining a fair amount for intangible losses requires a careful look at how severely the incident has impacted the victim’s life. A jury’s calculation may look at your age, health, overall quality of living, degree of injury, psychological trauma and many other general damages to determine a fair amount.

Possible Punitive Damages In Medical Malpractice Claims

Finally, the court may award you punitive damages if the defendant in your case exhibited willful misconduct, fraud, oppression, malice, wantonness or conscious indifference to the consequences of their actions. The purpose of this compensation is to punish the defendant, rather than recover your losses.

For example, a doctor who makes a mistake when interpreting your test results will not likely have to pay punitive damages. However, if your doctor accurately interprets your test results and intentionally passes on false information to you about your condition, then you may have grounds for punitive damages.

Statutory Caps For Damages In Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

Georgia places a cap, or a limit, on the amount of punitive and noneconomic damages you can receive in a medical malpractice lawsuit. However, the state does not impose a cap on the amount of economic damages you can claim.

You cannot claim more than $1.5 million in total noneconomic damages in a single claim, with no more than $350,000 total from all health care provider defendants and no more than $700,000 from all medical facility defendants.

For punitive damages, Georgia imposes a $250,000 cap for most medical malpractice lawsuits. However, if your case involves intentional harm or the use of drugs or alcohol, the court will not limit the punitive damages you claim.

Schedule A Free Case Evaluation With A Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Our medical malpractice attorneys have decades of experience evaluating and pursuing medical malpractice claims. To schedule a free consultation to discuss your potential claims and possible damages, contact our office by calling 404-795-6099 or sending an email through our online form.

Attorneys Ronald Hilley And Mia Frieder Working Together In Office Hallway