Damages in Virginia Beach Medical Malpractice Cases
When a healthcare professional is negligent, the results can be costly. Depending on the circumstances, an injury due to medical malpractice can result in a need for further treatment, time away from work, and additional pain and suffering. However, those injured due to a doctor’s negligence can bring a medical malpractice claim to seek compensation for these losses.
A knowledgeable attorney can further explain the damages in Virginia Beach medical malpractice cases. The proactive medical malpractice attorneys at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers can then work with you to bring a compelling case to get you the compensation you need and deserve.
Damages in Medical Malpractice Cases
The damages you can recover in a medical malpractice case are very similar to the types of damages you can recover in any other injury claim in Virginia. Generally, you can claim special damages such as past medical expenses, future medical expenses, and lost wages if they missed work as a result of medical negligence. You can additionally claim diminished earning capacity if your injury resulted in an inability to perform certain jobs.
In Virginia Beach, you are also allowed to claim general damages, which is payment for the pain, suffering, and inconvenience one experiences following medical negligence. However, it is important to note that, in Virginia, there is a cap on the amount of money you can receive from a medical malpractice case. As of today, the cap is $2.3 million. That amount increases $50,000 a year until the year 2031 when the cap will reach $3 million.
Punitive damages ordinarily will not be awarded in a medical malpractice case. These damages are typically reserved for egregious actions such as intentional conduct or willful and wanton conduct by a person. A medical error flowing from ordinary negligence will generally not give rise to a claim for punitive damages. However, if they do apply, they are capped at $350,000.
The way damages are calculated in Virginia Beach medical malpractice cases depends on the specific circumstances. In a trial without a jury, the judge will assign a value to the damages. If the case is tried before a jury, as most medical malpractice cases are, the jury will assign a value to the harms and losses the plaintiff suffered.
However, an attorney will also have to build a case for damages. As mentioned above, there are two types of damages in Virginia Beach medical malpractice cases. The first is special damages which are usually calculated using bills and other financial records. The other is general damages that are harder to calculate. These are usually determined by speaking with the victim and the family about how the injury affected them.
Statute of Limitations for Virginia Beach Cases
The statute of limitations for a personal injury claim ordinarily is two years. However, there are some exceptions. For example, if a child is below the age of eight, the statute of limitations is extended until their 10th birthday. Another exception is under the continuing treatment doctrine where, if a doctor is continuously treating a patient and trying to cure the harm caused by that doctor, the statute of limitation can arguably be extended for that period of time.
Virginia is also one of the few states that do not have a discovery rule. This means that the statute of limitations begins when the injury is sustained and not when the resulting damage is discovered. Unfortunately, this becomes difficult when someone was harmed but the damages do not manifest or are not discovered until it is too late. Extensions to the statute of limitation are available in some instances if the discovery of the injury is a result of fraud. Another extension may apply when foreign objects are left inside a person’s body. Other extensions may apply so it is important to speak with a knowledgeable attorney about possible extensions.
Ask an Attorney About Damages in Virginia Beach Medical Malpractice Cases
The damages in a Virginia Beach medical malpractice case depend largely on the specific facts of your case. A dedicated attorney from Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers can help you determine what your case could be worth. We can then build a compelling case to help you get the compensation you need and deserve. For the help you need with your medical malpractice case, call today.