medical malpractice

What Types of Damages Are Available in a Chicago Medical Malpractice Case?

If you or a loved one suffered harm because of substandard healthcare services, you might wonder what types of damages are available in a Chicago medical malpractice case. The damages you can pursue in a medical malpractice case will depend on the unique facts of your situation. Illinois allows compensatory damages and, in some circumstances, nominal or punitive damages.

Chicago medical malpractice attorneys can evaluate your claim and determine what kinds of damages you might be able to seek. Every case is different because everyone’s harm is unique.

What Are Compensatory Damages in a Medical Malpractice Case?

The purpose of compensatory damages is to compensate the injured person for the harm done, in an attempt to restore the individual, to the extent possible, to the position he was in right before the medical malpractice happened. Money cannot fix everything, but money damages honor and recognize that a person has been harmed. Compensatory damages usually include economic and non-economic losses. Sometimes, a person might qualify for nominal damages.

Economic Damages

Economic losses are those that have a direct financial impact on the injured person. Here are some examples of economic damages:

  • Medical bills to treat the injury from medical malpractice are usually recoverable, but not the cost of the underlying treatment for which the plaintiff initially sought treatment.
  • Future medical expenses caused by the substandard medical care can get included in the economic losses.
  • Lost income, whether wages, salary, self-employment and other forms of regular income, can be compensable if the plaintiff missed out on income because of the harm from the malpractice.
  • Future lost income, also called decreased earning capacity, can be a part of the claim if the individual can no longer make as much money because of the harm suffered from medical negligence.

You might have circumstances that justify other types of economic damages.

Non-Economic Damages  

Non-economic losses are not as easy to measure in dollars as economic damages because non-economic losses do not tend to come with as much paperwork that places a financial value on the item, like medical bills and lost wages. These are some of the non-economic losses one might experience after medical malpractice:

  • Pain and suffering (past and future)
  • Loss of a normal life (past and future)
  • Disfigurement
  • Disability

These are only a few examples of the many types of non-economic losses that might be available. 

Nominal Damages

These damages are sometimes available in unusual cases. The award is a very low dollar amount that recognizes the wrongful conduct of the defendant even if there was little or no economic loss, like extra medical bills or additional lost wages.

Can You Get Punitive Damages in a Chicago Medical Malpractice Claim?

Punitive damages, also called exemplary damages, are intended to punish shocking conduct by a healthcare professional or facility. Punitive damages are not awarded for mere negligence. We would have to convince the jury that the defendant acted intentionally, maliciously, fraudulently, or in some other manner of bad faith to support an award of punitive damages.

What Happens if My Close Relative Died from Medical Malpractice?

If your close relative died because of substandard medical care, we might be able to pursue additional damages, in the form of “fair and just compensation” for the legal beneficiaries.

Chicago personal injury attorneys can discuss your potential Chicago medical malpractice lawsuit. Contact us today for a free consultation.