Recouping Earnings Lost Due to Medical Malpractice
Beyond the usual economic and noneconomic damages you and your Pensacola medical malpractice lawyer will seek in a case, an important question lingers for plaintiffs with lasting injuries: What about lost wages? While plaintiffs can recover for work they causally and immediately must miss, there is also a very plaintiff-friendly addition in the state of Florida that comes into play if a person’s life is expected to be shortened due to an injury (i.e. cancer). In 2013, in Estrada v. Mercy Hospital, it was ruled that a plaintiff may recover an approximation of their lost earnings for the number of years by which their life is expected to be cut short due to medical negligence.
How a Shortened Life Expectancy Affects Damages Recovered
In a case where lasting and potentially life-shortening injury has occurred, the first step a Pensacola medical malpractice lawyer must take is to establish what the plaintiff’s pre-injury life expectancy would have been. Several factors go into this, including gender, weight, lifestyle habits, etc. Once this baseline has been set, the plaintiffs lawyer – as in Estrada – will argue and attempt to show that the plaintiff’s life has been “severely curtailed” and by how many years. When this approximation is made, the difference between the pre-injury life expectancy and the post-injury life expectancy will establish a number of income-earning years for which the medical malpractice has essentially taken from the plaintiff (average income must also be established). While the defense lawyer in Estrada argued that this wrongly enriched the heirs of the plaintiff, as opposed to Estrada herself, the court rejected this claim on the grounds that the state of Florida already bars a wrongful death suit subsequent to a successful recovery on a medical malpractice personal injury claim.
Lost future wages are, of course, only one of the various avenues your Pensacola medical malpractice lawyer should pursue. Other common damages in a medical malpractice personal injury (not wrongful death) suit include, but are not limited to:
- Medical bills (past and future)
- Missed work
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of bodily function
- Loss of consortium
- Permanent scarring
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Psychological trauma
- Punitive damages
If you were injured by a doctor during the course of treatment and are in need of a Pensacola medical malpractice lawyer, contact Joe Zarzaur of Zarzaur Law, PA immediately. Joe is board certified by the state of Florida in civil litigation – something few other lawyers statewide can boast – and has successfully litigated medical malpractice suits for years. Joe will get you nothing less than what you deserve, especially if you were forced to lose out on wages you otherwise would have been able to earn.
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