Wednesday, May 29, 2019
"Med Mal 101: Back to Basics" is 12-part series produced by Friday, Eldredge & Clark. Written by the attorneys in the Medical Malpractice Group, the content will be delivered monthly via email and is designed to give physicians and other healthcare providers information they need to know about malpractice litigation.
Part 5 of 12:
If a patient suffers a medical injury as the result of a care provider’s negligence, he or she is entitled to certain damages. In addition to the other elements of a medical malpractice claim that were discussed in previous parts of the MedMal 101 series , a plaintiff must also prove that he or she is entitled to damages that would not have otherwise occurred. 

The available damages are set out by law.   See , Ark. Code Ann. § 16-114-208.  Damages may include reasonable and necessary medical expenses that were caused by the medical care at issue, both in the past and those reasonably expected to occur in the future. These damages may include, for example, the cost of a surgery that would not have been needed had there been no negligence, and other types of care such as rehabilitation services and custodial care when required.
If a person is unable to work as the result of medical malpractice, he or she may be able to recover lost earnings and loss of earning capacity in the future. 

Noneconomic damages may also be appropriate. Non-economic damages include things like physical pain and suffering, and also mental anguish associated with the injury. If a person dies as the result of malpractice, damages may include compensation for his or her loss of life and for the grief of family members. The amount of these types of damages cannot, of course, be quantified as easily as medical expenses but are determined by a jury based on the evidence submitted at trial. 
Next month, Part 6 of our series will answer the question: "You received a subpoena, now what?"

Previous articles:

For a complete schedule of future articles, click here.
Why Back to Basics?

In a recent study published in The American Journal of Surgery, the majority of general surgery residents surveyed felt that they were not aware of resources available to them in case of litigation. [1]

This is an unfortunate statistic since according to the American Medical Association, one in three physicians have been sued at some point in their career, and nearly half of physicians age 55 and older reported having been sued. [2]  

With this series, we will provide medical personnel practicing in Arkansas with a general overview of the legal process. We hope to dispel some common myths and to aid in a better understanding of what actually happens when a medical care provider is sued for malpractice. 

These articles are intended to provide general educational information only and cannot take the place of experienced legal advice.

[ 1]  Beiqun Zhao, Luis C. Cajas-Monson, & Sonia Ramamoorthy, Malpractice Allegations: A reality check for resident physicians, 217 American Journal of Surgery 350-355 (2019).

[2]  Kevin B. O'Reilly, 1 in 3 physicians has been sued; by age 55, 1 in 2 hit with suit,  The American Medical Association (Jan. 26, 2018).
Medical Malpractice
The information was written by the attorneys in the  Medical Malpractice Group  at Friday, Eldredge & Clark, LLP.

This information is not a substitute for legal advice and should be considered for general guidance only. 

For more information, please contact one of our   Medical Malpractice Attorneys.
Medical Malpractice Group

When faced with a medical malpractice claim, healthcare providers require respected, experienced counsel they can trust to defend their practices and reputations. The attorneys in our Medical Malpractice Group are devoted to the defense of physicians, nurses, practice groups and hospitals in malpractice cases, which provides unique insight into the complexities of this type of litigation. 

At Friday, Eldredge & Clark, we are focused on providing our healthcare clients with consistently talented, ethical and efficient representation before state licensing boards and in all stages of litigation though jury trial and appeal. 
About the Firm

Friday, Eldredge & Clark, LLP serves business, non-profit, governmental and individual clients in Arkansas and across the United States. It is one of the oldest law firms in the state and has been the largest Arkansas-based law firm for more than 50 years. The firm has practice areas focusing on General Litigation; Class Action and Business Litigation; Railroad; Labor and Employment; Medical Malpractice; Public Finance; Healthcare; Estate Planning and Probate; Employee Benefits; Real Estate and Commercial Transactions; and Merger and Acquisitions. Friday, Eldredge & Clark has offices in Little Rock, Fayetteville and Rogers, Arkansas.
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