What can I recover from a medical malpractice lawsuit?
There are two types of damages that are recoverable in any medical malpractice or negligence case. These are general or non-economic damages (pain and suffering, emotional distress, etc.) and economic damages, which include loss of earnings and medical expenses. Under California law, non-economic damages are capped at $250,000. Economic damages are not limited, but depend on the facts of each case. If a plaintiff has a permanent injury that requires ongoing medical or nursing care, there is no artificial limit to what that plaintiff can claim or recover. Because of the high cost of medical care, a case that seeks recovery for past and future medical expenses can easily exceed seven figures. Another form of economic damages is the loss of earnings. Loss of earnings are recoverable in wrongful death cases in which the heirs of the decedent were dependent on the decedent for income, and in severe injury cases in which the injury to a plaintiff will affect their ability to earn money in the future, even if they have no prior earnings history.