In a vegetative state case, the patient is physically alive, but is unable to respond to the environment. He or she is able to breathe, though, and organs still function. It may be the result of a traumatic accident, such as medical malpractice. This can occur from an anesthesia error or improper intubation during a surgical procedure that may lead to brain damage.
Families of malpractice victims can pursue a variety of medical malpractice damages if a medical professional’s negligence is found to have caused the injury. A Cleveland medical malpractice lawyer can provide guidance to Ohio families pursuing compensation for damages in a vegetative state case.
Economic Damages in a Vegetative State Case
Economic damages include reimbursement for all financial costs paid in order to treat the injury and resultant medical condition:
- hospital bills;
- surgical procedures;
- diagnostic testing;
- medications; and
- any other medical bills that the family must pay out of pocket in order to treat the victim’s injury.
Continuous care for individuals in a vegetative state is necessary, and compensation may also address these expenses. In Ohio there are no caps on economic damages, which means that if a family has $250,000 in medical bills, that is the amount of medical malpractice damages that may be pursued in a Cleveland case with medical malpractice lawyers in Ohio.
Non-Economic Damages in a Vegetative State Case
Non-economic damages are things that do not have a definitive monetary value. Also called emotional damages, they include pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life. Families should go over the non-economic damages that might be included in a Cleveland malpractice case with medical malpractice lawyers in Ohio.
In Ohio, a person can is limited to how much non-economic damages can be recovered. The damages are limited to the greater of $250,000 or triple the amount of the economic damages, whichever is higher. The usual limit is $500,000 per occurrence or $350,000 per plaintiff. However, in extreme cases of deformity or physical injury, the caps increase to $1 million total or $500,000 per plaintiff.
In cases of intentional acts of injury or cases of gross negligence, punitive damages may be awarded. These potential medical malpractice damages are to punish the offender for the wrongdoing.
Punitive damages are rare in medical malpractice cases and when they are awarded, they are done so by a judge, not a jury. They are limited to twice the amount of total compensatory damages, which is the sum of the economic and non-economic damages. A Cleveland medical malpractice lawyer can help Ohio families determine if punitive damages apply to their cases.
Help Recovering Medical Malpractice Damages
In Ohio, Mellino Robenalt LLC can help families of patients in a vegetative state because of medical negligence establish and pursue medical malpractice damages. Families of victims can call (440) 333-3800 to set up a consultation with a Cleveland medical malpractice lawyer so they may review the details of their vegetative state case and begin talking about legal action.