Suing For Malpractice? What You Need To Know About Economic And Non-Economic Damages

Are you suing or planning to sue a doctor, medical establishment, or both for malpractice? If you were injured due to medical incompetence or negligence, you are well within your rights to sue for economic damages. In fact, the people who caused your injury are legally responsible to compensate you. Your medical malpractice lawyer will go over your options for approaching the case with you, and will let you know how much money you are likely to be able to recover in the lawsuit.

One important thing you need to know about before you go into court is the difference between economic and non-economic damages. These two terms will have the biggest impact on the amount of money you receive if you win your case.

What Are Economic Damages?

Economic damages are money you may be awarded by the court to compensate you for lost wages and medical bills associated with your injury. If you are injured due to medical negligence, you may be out of work for a while. In some cases, you may be permanently disabled and returning to work will not be a possibility.

You'll have ongoing medical expenses during this period, as well. The medical professionals and/or entities responsible for your injury must compensate you for the money you lost and will continue to lose because of the injury.

The court will look at all kinds of proof to determine the amount of economic damages you will receive. Most states do not have a limit to the amount of economic damages you can recover in a medical malpractice case, since everyone's wages and medical bills differ widely.

What Are Non-Economic Damages?

Non-economic damages generally fall under the "pain and suffering" category. These damages are awarded to compensate you for the way the injury impacts your life. Unlike economic damages, most states have limits to how much you can receive for non-economic damages.

These limits, or "caps," are in place in most states in order to keep juries from giving out disproportionate awards that could bankrupt a doctor or medical facility. Lower non-economic damage awards also help keep malpractice insurance rates reasonable, which allows doctors to keep their rates for services reasonable. In the long run, these caps benefit everyone.


Non-economic damage caps vary from state to state. Your medical malpractice lawyer will go over the caps in your state. Sometimes, the non-economic damage caps can be raised if the injury is particularly severe, debilitating, disfiguring, or disabling. Talk to an experienced lawyer, like Jon D. Caminez, PA, to find out just how much you are likely to receive for both economic and non-economic damages in your case.