According to the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB), 2021 saw an average settlement for New York medical malpractice lawsuits of $460,948.18. Defendants in medical malpractice lawsuits in New York settled 907 cases totaling $418,080,000 in 2021.
However, you are not a statistic and in many instances, statistics alone can lead to a misunderstanding of a subject. The amount that you can receive in your lawsuit will depend on the extent of the medical professional’s carelessness or recklessness in deviating from accepted standards and the severity of the consequences you experienced. Also, when an average settlement amount is determined, it is only of cases that did in fact settle. It does not include the claims that were made that failed, for a variety of reasons and did not result in a settlement. Presumably, many such “failed” cases involved actual malpractice and significant injuries, but for one reason or another, failed to result in a positive outcome for the injured victim? This underscores the need for excellent lawyering in investigating and building a case. Let our medical malpractice lawyers evaluate your case individually for damages that meet your needs.
- Common Medical Malpractice Allegations
- Average Settlements for Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
- How Our Attorneys Handle Settlements in Medical Malpractice Cases
- 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 may file medical malpractice claims for any 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 such 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 or your child 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 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 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
- Whether the injury is permanent or not
- If the injury was fatal
Each of these variables can have additional factors that could influence what you receive.
Identifying the Care You Need
For example, did the malpractice cause a debilitating injury that left the patient permanently paralyzed? If so, spinal cord injuries can have lifelong costs in the millions of dollars, according to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC).
Does a child’s birth injury mean that they will need lifelong care? For example, a cerebral palsy diagnosis could mean your child needs walking aids and has co-occurring developmental disabilities and higher medical costs than their peers.
As you can see, these questions and their answers affect the amount we fight for you to receive. Consistent with everyday common sense, all else being equal, a severely injured person is entitled to more money than a plaintiff who will recover from their injury.
Damages for Permanent Injuries
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.
This doesn’t mean that compensation for temporary injuries isn’t available. Some temporary injuries still require long-term recovery periods that deserve financial consideration. Therefore, we evaluate your injury’s severity to ensure you aren’t shortchanged in your claim or lawsuit. Our goal, for every client in every case, is to win the maximum money recovery.
Fatal Medical Malpractice Injuries
If the medical malpractice wrongful death of a loved one is what has brought you to our website, we extend our heartfelt condolences. We consider handling claims on behalf of surviving family members to be a privilege. We will fight relentlessly to win the compensation you need and the justice your departed loved one deserves.
In those 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. Wrongful death damages could cover:
- Medical bills remaining from treatment
- Lost income your loved one provided
- Pain and suffering
- Funeral services and burial expenses
- Loss of parental guidance
- Loss of spousal companionship
Fatal medical errors happen too often in the United States. While you grieve the sudden loss of a loved one, our wrongful death lawyers will evaluate the damages you deserve for your loss.
How Our Attorneys Handle Settlements in Medical Malpractice Cases
Typically, most lawsuits result in settlements, meaning that, in all likelihood, you will recover compensation 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
- Communicating and formalizing the settlement agreement that has been negotiated on your behalf
A dedicated medical malpractice attorney would be honored to manage all these steps on your behalf. Their presence will also protect you from an insurance adjuster trying to undermine your case by blaming the injury on non-medical factors or claiming the injury is less severe than your lawsuit indicates.
Use of Expert Testimony When Handling a Malpractice Claim
At Friedman & Simon, L.L.P., we work with qualified experts who can testify authoritatively about your condition and its consequences on your life. Their judgment informs our calculation of your case’s value.
Medical Malpractice Cases in Court
If your case does end up in the courtroom, our lawyers will take on the difficult tasks of:
- Gathering, organizing, and developing a strategy for the submission of all the evidence to be used as 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 witnesses as well as the defendant’s witnesses
Throughout the trial, we continually underscore how you deserve compensation for what you suffered at the hands of a negligent doctor, nurse, or other healthcare staff.
Caps on Medical Malpractice Damages
In the U.S., more than half the states place caps on the 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 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 suffered injury from medical negligence as children—and face an entire lifetime of related losses, including pain and suffering and other noneconomic damages.
Fortunately, at this time, New York State does not restrict how much money a patient recovers in a medical malpractice lawsuit. Hopefully, powerful insurance lobbying will never be able to change this law in our state. Friedman & Simon L.L.P. continues to fight for the results that our clients, injured because providers of medical treatment did not adhere to the appropriate standards, need and deserve.
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Types of Recoverable Damages in New York
In the case of a successful medical malpractice lawsuit, the plaintiff receives damages. 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
- Medical equipment like wheelchairs or other walking aids
- Modifications to your home or car to accommodate medical equipment
- Expenses related to childcare, housework, or other chores you now need help with
- Out-of-pocket costs related to treatment
Our goal when identifying these damages is to be as specific as possible. For instance, you can even include sales from a monetized hobby or extra income from picking up DoorDash orders as income you lost while recovering. Likewise, we will comb over bills and receipts to make sure no cost is left out.
General damages, on the other hand, consist of less tangible types of losses, including:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium (the special types of harm, recognized by law, that a person experiences when their spouse is injured or a wrongful death victim)
- Diminished enjoyment of life
- Disability (either permanent or temporary)
- Disfigurement and scar tissue
These forms of compensation are highly variable since they are so deeply personal. We don’t want these damages to be average in any way—they should be as unique as the losses you have suffered.
How Damages Are Calculated
Your medical malpractice lawyer will calculate the various damages in your case based on:
- Medical records
- Expert testimony
- Tax returns and employer wage statements
- Career and job prospects
- Changes to hobbies and other activities of daily living including changes to relationships
We evaluate both tangible paperwork and personal consequences. For example, our medical malpractice lawyers want to know about both the CT scan bill that you’re struggling to pay and the impact your injury has had on your ability to volunteer at a beloved charity. So, we’ll include anything affected by the doctor’s negligence in our calculations.
How Comparative Fault Affects Your Damages
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 would be proportional 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.
For example, if your injuries and damages have a value of $1 million, but it is determined that your conduct was 40% of the cause of the injuries and damages, the $1 million would be reduced by that 40%. Therefore, you should be able to recover $600,000.
We Will Calculate Your Damages for Your Medical Malpractice Claim
The legal team at Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. passionately 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 claim or lawsuit.
Call Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. today for a free case review.