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What is the importance of non-economic damages in med mal cases? P.1

In our last post, we mentioned a case which has been appealed to the Missouri
Supreme Court involving the issue of whether a 2005 tort reform law bars
non-economic damages in
medical malpractice cases involving allegations of
wrongful death. The case is certainly an important one since it will help define the
extent of damages available to medical malpractice plaintiffs in these cases.

Non-economic damages, as we mentioned last time, can be an important means
of compensating plaintiffs in medical malpractice cases, particularly
when economic damages do not adequately compensate the plaintiff, for
one reason or another. This can certainly be true for an injured patient,
but it can also be true for the surviving family members of a deceased
patient.Â

For patients, non-economic damages such as pain and suffering and loss
of enjoyment of life are important to account for when the actual medical
costs required to address any medical issues stemming from malpractice
are not that significant. This might be the case, for example, when a
limb has to be amputated. Compared to the medical costs associated with
brain damage, an amputation will typically not be as costly.

Another factor is the impact of malpractice on the patient’s ability
to make a living. In cases where the patient’s injury is intimately
connected to his or her work, the losses will be greater. This is especially
the case when the patient had significant earnings at the time the injury
occurred. In some cases, though, the injury is either not closely tied
to the patient’s ability to earn money, or the patient’s
earnings at the time the injury occurred were modest. These factors can
lead to smaller awards for economic damages.

In our next post, we’ll continue this discussion.Â

Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice is the third leading cause of death in U.S.

The statement is a shock to our national pride, but according to studies, it\’s true: medical negligence and preventable error is the third leading cause of death in the United States. It trails only cancer and heart disease. According to a study published last year in the Journal of Patient Safety, medical negligence kills at least 210,000 Americans per year. That\’s the minimum number of fatalities by preventable harm in

Medical Malpractice

Is medical malpractice litigation a viable option for me? P.3

We’ve been speaking in our last couple posts on the issue of when medical malpractice may or may not be a viable option when a patient is harmed by a doctor in the course of treatment. As we’ve noted, there are a variety of factors that go into determining whether medical malpractice litigation is a wise course of action. We’ve also spoken a bit about some of the factors relating

Medical Malpractice

Study: medical malpractice laws don\’t reduce health care costs

It has long been claimed in Joplin and across the nation that our healthcare costs are soaring because doctors are forced to order expensive tests that patients don’t need. Doctors claim that they order the unneeded tests – often referred to as “defensive medicine” – to guard against medical malpractice claims. That’s what physicians have long said, anyway. Reuters reports that a new study shows the \”defensive medicine\” claim is

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