Medical negligence cases can be complex, and it is crucial to understand the different factors that come into play when determining the damages owed to the plaintiff. In Georgia, damages in HMO medical negligence cases are calculated based on several factors. In this blog post, we will go over the steps involved in calculating damages in a Georgia HMO medical negligence case.
Step 1: Identify the Types of Damages
The first step in calculating damages is to identify the types of damages that may be applicable in the case. In Georgia, there are three types of damages that can be awarded in medical negligence cases:
Economic Damages: These are tangible losses that can be calculated based on the plaintiff’s financial losses resulting from the negligence. Examples of economic damages include medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage.
Non-Economic Damages: These damages are not easily quantifiable and cover non-monetary losses such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Punitive Damages: These damages are awarded to punish the defendant for their actions and deter them from engaging in similar behavior in the future. Punitive damages are only awarded in cases of gross negligence or intentional harm.
Step 2: Calculate Economic Damages
The next step is to calculate the economic damages. This involves adding up the actual financial losses incurred by the plaintiff due to medical negligence. This may include medical expenses, lost wages, and any other expenses related to the injury. It is essential to keep accurate records of these expenses to ensure that they can be included in the calculation of economic damages.
Step 3: Calculate Non-Economic Damages
Calculating non-economic damages can be more challenging than economic damages. These damages are designed to compensate the plaintiff for the pain, suffering, and emotional distress caused by medical negligence. There is no fixed formula for calculating non-economic damages, and they can vary widely based on the specific circumstances of the case.
To determine non-economic damages, the plaintiff’s attorney will need to consider factors such as the severity of the injury, the impact it has had on the plaintiff’s life, and the duration of the plaintiff’s pain and suffering. In some cases, expert witnesses may be called upon to provide testimony regarding the extent of the plaintiff’s emotional distress.
Step 4: Determine Punitive Damages
Punitive damages are only awarded in cases of gross negligence or intentional harm. To determine whether punitive damages are warranted, the plaintiff’s attorney will need to demonstrate that the defendant acted with a deliberate disregard for the safety and well-being of the plaintiff.
If it is determined that punitive damages are warranted, the amount will be based on the severity of the defendant’s actions and the need to deter them from engaging in similar behavior in the future.
Step 5: Totaling the Damages
Once all the damages have been calculated, they will be totaled to determine the final amount owed to the plaintiff. This may include economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages (if applicable).
In addition to the steps outlined above, it is important to note that Georgia has a cap on non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases. This means that there is a limit on the amount of non-economic damages that can be awarded in a medical malpractice case, regardless of the severity of the injury.
As of 2021, the non-economic damages cap in Georgia is $400,000 per plaintiff, regardless of the number of defendants. However, there are exceptions to the cap, including cases involving catastrophic injuries, such as loss of limbs, paralysis, or severe brain damage, and cases involving intentional harm or gross negligence.
It is also important to note that Georgia has a statute of limitations on medical malpractice cases. The statute of limitations is the deadline by which a lawsuit must be filed, and in Georgia, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases is two years from the date of injury or discovery of the injury, whichever occurs later.
Calculating damages in a Georgia HMO medical negligence case requires careful consideration of the types of damages that may be applicable, as well as the specific circumstances of the case. It is important to work with an experienced attorney who can guide you through the process and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. If you have been the victim of medical negligence, don’t hesitate to reach out to a qualified attorney to protect your rights and pursue the compensation you are entitled to.
The Keenan Law Firm has over 40 years of experience in representing victims of medical negligence in Georgia. Our team of attorneys has the knowledge and expertise necessary to help you calculate damages in a Georgia HMO medical negligence case.
We understand that each case is unique and requires careful consideration of the specific circumstances involved. We will work with you to gather all of the necessary evidence, including medical records, expert testimony, and other documentation, to build a strong case for maximum compensation.
Our attorneys are familiar with the nuances of Georgia law regarding damages in medical malpractice cases, including the caps on non-economic damages, and can help you navigate these complex legal issues to ensure that you receive the compensation you are entitled to.
We are committed to providing compassionate and personalized service to our clients. We understand that a medical malpractice injury can be a traumatic and life-changing experience, and we are here to support you every step of the way.
If you believe you have been a victim of medical negligence, don’t hesitate to reach out to the Keenan Law Firm. We offer free consultations to discuss your case and provide guidance on how to proceed. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and let us help you calculate the damages in your Georgia HMO medical negligence case.