No one likes to think about the fact that if they are severely injured at the hands of a medical professional, the amount of money that they are able to recover might be limited. Luckily, post 2010, those victims who file a medical malpractice case in Illinois no longer have to worry about the previous laws limiting the amount of noneconomic damages recoverable.
What Are Noneconomic Damages?
Noneconomic damages are a type of compensatory damage that are meant to offer recompense for the victim’s noneconomic losses, as opposed to economic losses, which might include medical costs and lost wages. Examples of noneconomic damages include compensation for pain and suffering, emotional anguish, disability, permanent disfigurement, anxiety, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of consortium, and any other losses that are not tangible nor obviously quantifiable.
How Much Am I Allowed to Recover in Noneconomic Damages in a Medical Malpractice Suit?
Prior to the year 2010, there was a cap on the amount of damages that medical malpractice victims were allowed to recover in a lawsuit – the cap was $500,000 per doctor/healthcare provider, and $1,000,000 per hospital or other healthcare facility.
In 2010, the Illinois Supreme Court declared the cap to be unconstitutional in the case LeBron vs. Gottlieb Memorial Hospital. One of the primary points of the case was that “Noneconomic damage caps undermine the ability of a significant number of injured plaintiffs with meritorious cases to seek redress for their injuries in the courts.”
As such, there is no limit on the amount of noneconomic, nor economic damages, that you may be allowed to recover. It is important to note, however, that while punitive damages are allowed in many other types of personal injury cases (and are capped per Illinois law), they are expressly prohibited in medical malpractice cases.
The amount of money that you are able to recover in your medical malpractice case will depend upon the extent of your injuries and the strength of your claim. It is not uncommon for the amount of a plaintiff’s noneconomic damages award to be greater than their economic damages award.
Get the Compensation Award You Deserve
Understanding how much money you are legally entitled to can be complicated. If you are not sure what you should ask for during a claim, you should consult with an experienced Rockford, Illinois medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney will not only work hard to prove that malpractice occurred, but will also demonstrate why you deserve a compensation amount that fully addresses your losses.
We understand that if you are a victim of medical malpractice, you likely have dozens of questions about what comes next. We are ready to answer those questions – just call us today, or use our online form, to schedule your free case consultation. You can call our attorneys at Fisk & Monteleone LTD. today by calling 815-209-9030.