Medical malpractice and compensation in global perspective

Medical malpractice is an act of negligence that causes emotional and physical pain to the patient. Often, it is not possible to cure the pain completely. It leads to future repercussions and affects the patient’s ability to earn and support his family.

It is unfair that some innocent person pays the price for the blunder done to him by others. Hence, the law has made provisions for giving the injured some compensation to cover up their losses and lessen their griefs. Here is a brief introduction of how medical malpractice compensation works.
Why compensations are important ?
Compensations work as a remedy to repair the damages to certain extent. Hence, compensations are promoted to bring the life of the patient back in order.

To punish those who have inflicted physical, emotional and financial misery on you

To receive monitory assistance against the expenses borne for the medical treatments and to compensate for the loss of income

To receive compensation against the pain, sufferings, disability or loss of a relationship

To compensate loss inflicted on those family members depending upon the patient financially

To ensure that such incidences are not repeated in future by creating an awareness

What is included in medical malpractice compensation?

There are certain factors that determine the total amount of compensation. Depending upon the role of these factors in every case, the court orders the liable party to pay the compensation. These types are divided in two categories.

Economic Damage Awards: Economic damages refer to the compensations made against the financial losses. While determining the compensation, the court considers the several expenses and losses borne by the patient due to the injury inflicted upon him. It includes the medical expenses of undergoing treatments, buying medicines, tests, hospital charges, etc. Also, if the patient has suffered grave injuries, he will not be able to go to office and work. Hence, he suffers a loss of income during this period. Also, if the number of dependents is more, they too suffer financially. Hence, compensation will try to cover up all these losses. Compensation seeks to maintain the sufferer at the same level of financial capacity as it was before the accident.

Non- Economic Damage Awards: Non – economic damages include the compensation given against the pain and sufferings of the patients. A patient experiences severe physical and psychological pain when he suffers from an ailment and undergoes treatment. Also, certain aliments lead to permanent disability so much that it affects the patient’s capacity to work too. The patient’s family too, suffers pain if their near and dear ones are inflicted with injury. While providing for non-economic compensation, the court considers all these aspects and their effect on present and future life of the patient. Hence, non economic damages are aimed at reducing the burden of grief from the patient and his family.

It is easier for the sufferer to prove compensatory charges. It includes submitting medical bills, tests and medical bills, salary slips, loss of wages, etc. These documents are sufficient to prove the financial loss of the individual. On the other hand, the punitive charges (non- economic damages) are difficult to prove and calculate. It is troublesome to express the pain you suffered and quantify it in monitory terms. Also, it is difficult to judge the economic losses arising from the disability in terms of future money value. One needs to submit proof of the doctor’s mistake and prove the loss suffered in medical and practical terms to receive compensation. Medical Malpractice compensation is significantly high in cost. Other compensation claims are not so expensive as those for medical malpractice. Also, the settlements received are costly too.

Although the loss suffered by the patients and his family cannot be compared in monitory terms, compensation is one way of attempting at putting life back on track post-injury. Do not shy away from demanding a compensation as they symbolize justice and acts like a warning to other negligent doctors. Medical malpractice compensation laws are initiated with the same motive.