I recently had surgery and during anethesia my mouth was cut and bruised. It took several weeks to heal. Is it possible to be compensated for this?
1 Answer from Attorneys
I am responding to this question because it is a common question that I am asked quite frequently and I feel that you, and others, need to know how medical malpractice cases work. There are two elements to every case: liability and damages. Liability means proving that the doctor or hospital was negligent. It sounds as though that is possible in your case. Damages means, now that you've established liability (negligence) on the part of the doctor or hospital, so what? What harm was done? Cuts and bruises in your mouth, even if they did take "several weeks to heal," are simply not worth much in damages. In other words, a jury would not be likely to award very much money for this kind of injury. Since it commonly costs $50,000.00 or more to get a medical malpractice case to trial (all of your expert witnesses [other doctors] charge thousands for their testimony), there is no way a case like this is economically feasible. Even if you won on liability, the damages you received from a jury would likely not come even close to reimbursing what it cost to get your case to trial. So, to summarize, to have a viable medical malpractice case, you have to have clear liability (negligence), coupled with very serious injury (one where the jury would be likely to aware significant damages), or else you do not have a case that makes economic sense.