According to the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB), 2020 saw an average settlement for New York medical malpractice lawsuits of $422,236.93. 2020 is the most recent year for which the NPDB currently provides complete data on malpractice payment reporting.
Defendants in medical malpractice lawsuits in New York made 1,435 settlements totaling $605,910,000 in 2020. The amount that you can receive in your lawsuit will depend on the extent of the medical professional’s recklessness and the severity of the consequences you experienced.
In This Article
- Common Medical Malpractice Allegations
- Average Settlements for Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
- Caps on Medical Malpractice Damages
- Types of Recoverable Damages in New York
- We Will Calculate Your Damages for Your Medical Malpractice Claim
Common Medical Malpractice Allegations
Patients file medical malpractice claims for any type of medical negligence by a medical professional that causes injury. Allegations for such lawsuits frequently relate to the following:
- Diagnosis: The doctor misdiagnosed your condition or failed to take reasonable steps to provide an accurate diagnosis that would have allowed you to receive treatment sooner.
- Surgery: An error was made during a surgical procedure. This may include such errors as leaving medical equipment in the body or, in extreme cases, operating on the wrong body part.
- Treatment: You were not provided with the correct treatment in a timely manner, or the proper treatment was administered incorrectly.
- Obstetrics: There were difficulties during pregnancy or childbirth that your doctor failed to treat. As a result, you, your child, or both of you suffered complications.
- Medication: You were given the wrong medication or the wrong dosage of otherwise correctly prescribed medication.
- Anesthesia: An anesthesiologist gave you the wrong dose during a medical procedure and/or failed to notice and correct a problem quickly enough.
- Monitoring: Your condition required careful attention and monitoring from your doctor, and they failed to provide this monitoring or to identify possible problems in a timely fashion.
- Equipment: A doctor may have left medical equipment in your body during surgery, or they may have used a piece of equipment on you when it was not necessary, leading to preventable trauma.
- IV and blood products: You were given the wrong type or amount of an IV or blood product, or the product was contaminated in some way.
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Average Settlements for Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
So what is the average payout for medical negligence? Medical malpractice lawsuit settlements and judgments in medical malpractice cases correspond, in part, to the types of injuries the plaintiff suffered and the severity of their outcomes. The average amounts change depending on:
- How much care will be needed: Did the malpractice cause debilitating injury causing the patient to be permanently paralyzed? Does a child’s birth injury mean that they will need lifelong care? A more severely injured person is entitled to more money than a plaintiff who will recover from their injury.
- Whether the injury is permanent or not: Permanently losing the use of a limb, either through amputation or something else, is worth more in a lawsuit than suffering from a recoverable injury that will, someday, allow the use of the limb again.
- If the injury was fatal: In cases where the malpractice results in a terminal injury, where the claim or lawsuit is on behalf of a loved one who did not survive their injury, you could recover significantly more than someone making a claim based upon an injury that was not fatal.
An overwhelming majority of the compensation in these lawsuits was made via settlements. Only a small percentage of the compensation resulted from a court judgment. This means that, in all likelihood, you will get your money recovery as a result of your lawyer: :
- Notifying the liable party, their legal representative, and their insurance company of your intention to sue for malpractice
- Meeting with the insurance adjuster, either in person or over the phone/video conference, as many times as it takes to negotiate a settlement agreement that meets your present and future needs
- Signing the settlement agreement you negotiated
A dedicated medical malpractice attorney would be honored to manage all of these steps on your behalf. Their presence will also protect you if the insurance adjuster tries to undermine your case by blaming the injury on non-medical factors or claiming the injury is less severe than your lawsuit indicates. Also, if your case does end up in the courtroom, your lawyer will take on the difficult tasks of:
- Gathering, organizing, and developing a strategy for the submission of all the evidence to be used as t trial exhibits
- Arguing your case in front of a judge and jury
- Recognizing when the defendant bends the rules and raising objections when they do
- Questioning your own witnesses as well as the defendant’s witnesses
Caps on Medical Malpractice Damages
In the U.S., more than half the states place caps on the amount of damages a plaintiff recovers from a medical malpractice lawsuit. In some states, the caps cover the combined total of all damages, while other states simply limit the amount a patient recovers for general damages.
The State of New York does not restrict how much money a patient recovers in a medical malpractice lawsuit. Other states do not place caps on damages related to these types of claims.
The purpose of damages caps in this type of lawsuit is to drive down the liability of medical professionals and lower their malpractice insurance rates. Where in place, these compensation restrictions have met with criticism, especially in the case of patients who suffer injury from medical negligence as children—and face an entire lifetime of related losses, including pain and suffering and other non-economic damages.
Types of Recoverable Damages in New York
In the case of a successful medical malpractice lawsuit, the plaintiff receives damages. However, New York is one of several states that recognizes the doctrine of pure comparative fault. If you contributed to your injury, the compensation you receive from your claim will be in proportion to your contribution to the injury. Pure comparative fault benefits you as a plaintiff who is partially at fault for your condition. Even if the court were to find that your conduct was a significant contributing factor in the cause of your injuries, you could still recover for the percentage of fault attributable to the doctor, hospital, or other treatment providers you are claiming against. An example would be as follows: If it is determined that an injured plaintiff’s injuries and damages have a value of $1,000.000.00 but it is further determined that the plaintiff’s own conduct was 40% of the cause of the injuries and damages, the $1,000,000.00 would be reduced by that 40% so the plaintiff should be able to recover $600,000.00.
Generally, damages from a lawsuit consist of actual and general damages. These two forms of compensatory damages “reimburse” you for losses you would not have suffered had you not endured the injury from medical negligence.
Under this category, you receive actual (monetary) damages, which include calculable items like:
- Medical bills
- Physical rehabilitation
- Lost income from not being able to work
- Diminished future potential earnings
- Prescription medicines
- Expenses related to childcare, housework, or other chores you now need help with
General damages, on the other hand, consist of less tangible types of losses, including:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
- Diminished enjoyment of life
- Disability (either permanent or temporary)
- Disfigurement and scar tissue
Your medical malpractice lawyer will calculate the various damages to be demanded in your case based on:
- Medical records
- Expert testimony
- Employer wage statements
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We Will Calculate Your Damages for Your Medical Malpractice Claim
The legal team at Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. are passionate advocates for the injured. Our staff of multilingual professionals is ready to assist you in your native tongue of Greek, Bengali, Tamil, Spanish, or Kannada.
Our lawyers will investigate your case to identify the medical negligence that caused your injury. We will thoroughly document all your losses, consulting with, as may be called for, medical experts, vocational rehabilitation specialists, life care planners, and economists who support your claim. Because we work on a contingency basis, you pay us only when and if we win a settlement or judgment for your medical malpractice lawsuit.
Call Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. today for a free case review.