What is your claim worth?
Medical Negligence is a complicated area. As previous posts have shown, starting and building your claim can often require significant technical skill from your lawyers.
However, from a client perspective the most important and potentially most ambiguous area of a claim is assessing quantum.
AKA how much is your claim worth? Money received from medical negligence is typically referred to as damages.
But what does this mean?
Damages is a general term that refers to several ‘heads’ or sections of compensation that total to the final figure that we in everyday language would call damages. This post will talk about the key areas of damages we as personal injury lawyers would claim in your medical negligence matter. Out-of-pocket expenses (OPE’s) Past OPE’s are any money you have spent on treatment or items that help you manage your injuries and symptoms.
This might be an icepack for the injured area, pain medication, money to a cleaner to help you with what you and so much more. The basic principle is that if you have paid with your own money for something related to your injury, you should be reimbursed.
Future OPE’s are then the anticipated future expenses you may have to pay for from your injury. This might be your future pain medication, future and ongoing treatment from your injuries, adding disability access into your home and anything else that our team of expert doctors assess you would reasonably need because of your injuries.
Economic Loss Past economic loss looks at the time you have taken off from work as a result of your injuries. We consider leave taken, reduced hours, lost superannuation and benefits you have missed out on from the injury to come to a figure. This amount reflects the work you could have done but for you injuries.
Future economic loss is a figure we estimate with the assistance of our expert doctors. We assess your current injuries, workplace and career to assess whether you would need to retire early or continue working on reduced hours. This number is meant to reflect the amount of work you will not be able to do for the rest of your career from the accident.
Household expenses Damages also recognize that your injuries may cause you to struggle to complete household tasks such as cooking or cleaning that you have previously done. We rely on an expert therapist to assess how your injuries impair household work to estimate the amount of money you deserve to hire someone to do these tasks for you.
General Damages this final section is a catch all provision. We look at past cases and awards to estimate what we believe a court would grant you for the pain, suffering, mental anguish, and loss that you have experienced from your accident.
We hope that this post has helped you understand how a medical negligence claim is structured and what damages mean to you. If you have any enquiries about medical negligence please do not hesitate to contact United Legal.
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- What Is Your Claim Worth? - May 3, 2021
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