What’s the Difference Between Economic and Non-Economic Compensation in a Medical Malpractice Case?
This is a question I commonly receive as a local and experienced med mal lawyer in Gainesville, here are the differences:
The best way to think about economic and non-economic damages is that one is more tangible or certain than the other. Both are “real” damages, but one is more easily seen or grasped.
To start, both economic and non-economic damages serve as compensation for plaintiff’s (victim’s) injury arising from a medical malpractice claim. The compensation may be for past as well future injury or loss.
Economic damages are those that directly relate to the “bottom line cost” of plaintiff’s injury. For example, past medical bills arising from plaintiff’s injury clearly fall under economic damages. So too, however, do future medical bills, because they also directly relate to the “bottom line cost.” Other forms of economic damages include past and future wage loss, past and future rehab expenses, and other out-of-pocket expenses.
Non-economic damages look more to compensating for the intangible loss of plaintiff’s injury. Pain and suffering is the most common type of non-economic damages, though others include disfigurement, permanent impairment, and loss of enjoyment of life. These damages are not as clear and easy to identify and place a dollar amount on for compensation.
Perhaps the most helpful distinction is that it is much easier to place a dollar amount with economic damages because the numbers are firm. Non-economic damages, though no less significant, are more intangible and abstract.
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If you feel you have been injured by a doctor or someone working in a health care facility, you may be wondering if you have a case or not and if you need a lawyer.
If you have a legitimate case, with serious injuries, you will need an experienced medical malpractice attorney to navigate the powerful medical insurance world in order to be fairly compensated.
For over 40 years the experienced lawyers at Meldon Law have been helping victims of medical malpractice get compensated for the harm done to them.
If you or a loved one has experienced an injury due to medical malpractice, contact the Gainesville office of Meldon Law today. Consultations are free!
Since 1971, we have represented medical malpractice victims from: Gainesville, Ocala, Lake City, Inverness, Palatka, Inverness, Crystal River, Daytona Beach, Interlachen, Spring Hill, Dunnellon, Bunnell, Live Oak, Starke, Jasper, Cross City, Perry, Trenton, Leesburg, Lake Butler, Tavares, Chiefland, Bronson, Brooksville, The Villages and the counties of Alachua County, Marion County, Columbia County, Citrus County, Volusia County, Sumter County, Levy County, Lake County, Bradford County, Flagler County, Hamilton County, Dixie County, Gilchrist County, Union County, Hernando County, Suwannee County, Union County and Putnam County.
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