Columbia Medical Malpractice Lawyer
When our loved ones or we are sick, injured, or in some need of care, we trust doctors, nurses, and healthcare facilities with our very lives. Despite this trust, however, careless mistakes can be made that leave us with potentially lifelong physical and psychological afflictions.
If you or a close family member are seriously injured due to the medical negligence of a healthcare professional, you should seek a consultation with a Columbia medical malpractice lawyer. By employing both their legal skills and knowledge of the pharmaceutical industry, a personal injury attorney experienced in this complex field of litigation will strive for a favorable resolution to your situation.
Medical Malpractice Defined
Under Missouri Revised Statutes §516.105, a medical malpractice claim is defined as a particular type of personal injury lawsuit that is brought against any one of the following defendants:
- Certain mental health professionals
- Other healthcare professionals providing care in the scope of their employment
While there are many potential defendants, a Columbia medical malpractice attorney may aid the plaintiff in defining which party, or parties, to seek to hold liable for their damages.
Furthermore, a plaintiff and their attorney should define whether their lawsuit is a medical malpractice suit, or merely a personal injury claim. The reason for this is because there are caps on certain types of damages for medical malpractice lawsuits that can have ramifications for the amount of financial compensation a plaintiff could receive.
Damages Caps on Medical Malpractice Claims
When a plaintiff brings a medical malpractice lawsuit, the legal terminology for the financial award they pursue is called damages. Three types of damages a plaintiff can pursue are economic, non-economic, and punitive. Under Missouri law, however, the non-economic type has a cap on how much a plaintiff may be awarded, and this amount has changed in recent years.
The Non-Economic Damages Cap
Non-economic damages refer to a range of intangible psychological injuries that a plaintiff may endure as a result of their physical injuries. Some such examples are pain and suffering, disfigurement, humiliation, inconvenience, and other harms. In 2015, Miss. Rev. Stat. §538.210 took effect and raised the cap on this type of claim from $350,000 to $400,000. This is good news for plaintiffs; by raising this cap, they may now pursue and potentially receive more financial compensation for the harm they have suffered.
Furthermore, under Miss. Rev. Stat. §538.210, a plaintiff may be awarded up to $700,000 if their harm is considered a “catastrophic personal injury.” A medical malpractice lawyer from Columbia will help the plaintiff to define their type of injury and generally pursue the maximum amount under that claim.
Economic damages refer to the actual physical harm the plaintiff sustained and the financial consequences that resulted. Medical bills, lost income, lost earning capacity, rehabilitation costs, household services, and lost future wages are all examples of harms that can be pursued under the economic damages umbrella. Fortunately for the plaintiff, economic damages have no cap.
Punitive damages are not awarded as often as their non-economic and economic counterparts because their purpose is not to compensate the plaintiff but to punish the defendant. Since they are punitive, these damages are generally only awarded if the defendant’s actions were so reckless, or intentional, that they merit punishment.
Call a Columbia Medical Malpractice Attorney Today
To effectively litigate a medical malpractice claim, an attorney will generally need experiential knowledge of both the legal and medical terminology and arguments associated with these types of suits. A Columbia medical malpractice lawyer, therefore, who is well-versed in the intricacies of these lawsuits could review your situation and potentially advocate on your behalf. To get started on a case, be sure to schedule a consultation today.