Medical malpractice lawsuits are generally based on tort law, which includes both statutes and court decisions. A tort is a wrongful act or omission by an individual that causes harm to another individual. Typically, a malpractice tort would be based on the claim that the health care provider was negligent, had failed to meet the acceptable standard of care owed to the patient, and thus had caused injury to the patient.
Victims of medical malpractice may be eligible to recover damages. These damages come in three forms: economic, non-economic and punitve. Economic damages refer to monetary losses that result from an injury, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and rehabilitation costs. Noneconomic damages consist primarily of damages for pain and suffering. Punitive damages are intended to punish the defendant and to discourage the conduct of the type the defendant engaged in, where the defendant’s conduct is found to be intentional or willful or wanton or malicious.
Findings on medical malpractice cases disposed of by jury and bench trial in general jurisdiction courts in the Nation's 75 largest counties during 2001 include the following:
Some important topics related to medical malpractice include the following: