Popular Terms in Medical Malpractice:
Compensatory Damages: These damages are both economic and non-economic. Economic damages include financial losses such as lost wages, medical expenses and life care expenses. Non-economic damages are physical and psychological harm, such as loss of vision, loss of a limb or organ, the reduced enjoyment of life due to a disability or loss of a loved one, severe pain and emotional distress.
Contingency Fee: A fee arrangement in which the plaintiff and his or her attorney agree that the fees due to the attorney will be determined by the amount of the judgment granted in the plaintiff’s favor.
Damages: Monetary compensation claimed by a person who has suffered a loss or injury to his person, property or rights as a result of the negligence or unlawful conduct of another.
Defensive Medicine: The practice of diagnostic measures conducted as a safeguard against possible malpractice liability.
Health Court: A proposed special court system that would be designed to handle only medical malpractice disputes. Each court would consist of specially trained judges who would decide the outcome of each case, assisted by outside experts. Awards to the victims would be given in accordance with a predetermined compensation schedule, based on a patient’s circumstances and the severity of the injury they sustained.
Negligence: Failure to exercise the degree of care that a reasonable person would exercise under the same circumstances. When that failure causes another person to suffer an injury or financial loss, that person may be entitled to just compensation through our civil justice system.
Punitive Damages: Damages awarded by a court against a defendant as a deterrent or punishment to redress an egregious wrong perpetrated by the defendant.
Statute of Limitations: The limited amount time during which a medical malpractice lawsuit can be filed.
Tort: The body of law that addresses, and provides remedies for, civil wrongs not arising out of contractual obligations.
Tort reform: The proposed changes in the civil justice system that would reduce tort litigation or damages.