One of the biggest difficulties faced in any medical malpractice claim is how to place a value on a victim’s injuries and suffering. You can look backward and tally up things like lost wages and medical bills and even allocate an amount toward the victim’s pain and suffering. However, what about the victim’s future losses?
The sobering reality is that many injuries caused by malpractice will never fully heal. Victims may be left with lifelong scars, pain, physical limitations and mental distress due to their wounds. They may also need lifelong care, which can be notoriously expensive.
So how can you estimate losses that haven’t yet happened? Here are some of the questions the court will probably consider when trying to value future damages:
- What kind of physical care will the victim need in the future? Are there medical expenses or care that can be reasonably anticipated based on the victim’s current condition?
- In what ways will the victim’s post-injury life differ from their pre-injury life? How will their social routine differ? How is the injury likely to limit their hobbies and enjoyment of life?
- Have the victim’s injuries negatively affected their relationship with their spouse or children? Has their marriage deteriorated as a result of their condition?
- Does the victim suffer from chronic pain related to their injuries? How does that affect their sleep? Does it negatively affect their mental state?
New York law has some complex provisions regarding the way that future damages are calculated and paid. It can take an experienced advocate to help you better understand what future damages are reasonable to request and what you can expect based on your case.