Most people visit the doctor or hospital with the expectation that physicians and other healthcare professionals have their best interests in mind. Although it’s rare, unfortunately, there are professionals in this field that cause deliberate harm. The best malpractice attorneys understand that these types of claims can be hard to win, but in some cases, justice does prevail.
Types of Damages in Medical Malpractice Cases
Depending on the specific circumstances of a claim, personal injury lawyers may be able to help injured victims recover three types of damages.
General damages are economic losses that can be quantified, such as the cost of medical bills and past and future loss of income. Special damages include pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment, and other non-economic damages.
Both general and special damages are considered compensatory damages, which means they are intended to “make the plaintiff whole.” However, in cases involving particularly egregious or careless acts, punitive damages may be awarded. Punitive damages are not intended to compensate the victim. Rather, they are awarded to punish the wrongdoer and deter others from committing similar acts in the future.
What Does Medical Malpractice Insurance Cover?
In cases involving medical mistakes or negligence, medical malpractice insurance typically covers all three types of damages. However, things can get tricky when a doctor deliberately causes harm to a patient. Most malpractice policies state that when a physician deliberately causes injury or covers up a criminal act, insurance coverage does not apply. This means that if your doctor caused deliberate injuries, you may have to bring a lawsuit against them personally to recover damages. They may also be subject to criminal charges if the state decides to prosecute them for criminal acts.
Claims Against Hospitals or Health Care Systems
It’s important to understand that suing your doctor may not be your only possibility for recovering compensation if you were deliberately harmed. If a hospital or health care system employed or contracted with the physician, they may also be on the hook for damages.
Hire an Experienced Medical Malpractice Attorney
Medical malpractice cases are complex. When deliberate acts of harm are involved a claim can be even more challenging to prove. If you’ve been hurt or have lost a loved one and you believe a healthcare professional may have committed wrongdoing, a medical malpractice attorney can evaluate your case, determine whether you have a viable claim, and investigate all possible avenues for compensation.
Medical malpractice laws and damage caps vary widely by state, so it’s critical to hire a lawyer who’s familiar with the laws in the jurisdiction where the harmful acts took place. In some states, there are patient compensation funds or excess recovery funds that may be utilized by patients seeking compensation for medical injuries.
Our malpractice lawyers in West Chester, PA are well-versed in handling cases involving physicians and other healthcare professionals who cause deliberate injuries or death. You can trust our compassionate team to fight for your rights and help you hold responsible parties accountable for their actions.