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Failure to Diagnose Lawsuit Settlements


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Video Transcript

0:00 Intro
0:40 Identifying Damages – Medical Expenses
0:56 Identifying Damages – Lost Income
1:17 Identifying Damages – Disability
2:31 Identifying Damages – Wrongful Death
3:08 Identifying Damages – Calculate those damages

There was a question that I was asked about failure to diagnose lawsuits, and the settlements in those particular cases.


0:40 Identifying Damages – Medical Expense

Again, you have to know a little bit again about one, identifying damages. And those damages generally are going to be broken down into medical expenses that may not have been necessary, had a diagnosis been made correctly initially.


0:56 Identifying Damages – Lost Income

There may be additional lost income. And by that, I mean generally wages. Money that the individual patient/plaintiff may have earned, that he or she been able to return to work and perform his or her occupation. That is paychecks that they would have received if they didn’t receive as a result of the diagnosis.


1:17 Identifying Damages – Disability 

And then finally, disability, permanency. If someone is unable to perform certain duties in the way that they did before the act of negligence occurred, maybe they’re unable to do the job that they previously did. Maybe they have to resort to a less profitable job. Maybe they’re not able to work at all. Those lost wages in any permanency that occurs as a result of the negligence is also compensatable.

Clearly, if they’re unable to work, you can look at the income they would have made, say to their retirement age, to calculate their damages. And those damages can then be used towards structuring what would be a fair settlement. Likewise, if they miss a portion of work, you can look at that finite period of time to determine what wages they may have lost. 


2:31 Identifying Damages – Wrongful Death

And then of course in terms of permanency, death is always permanent, needless to say. The value of the services that individual could have performed by way of employment. And also the value of the services that individual could have done or could have been responsible for his or her estates’ beneficiaries, children, grandchildren. That is worth something under most states’ wrongful death actions.

Also, the expenses associated with probate administration, with funeral expenses. All of these are potentially compensable


3:08 Identifying Damages – Calculate those damages

So you take this panoply of damages and medical expenses, lost wages, any element of permanency, funeral expenses in the case of a death, probate administration expenses in the case of a death. And you roll this all together and do the math. That’s how you determine what a fair settlement could be. 

And I have to add one caveat. You have to factor in the contingency of potentially not being able to convince the jury that the facts, or as you see them, and that actual negligence occurred. All these factor in as to what a fair settlement may be. And of course, in the end, it’s usually an insurance company that decides what would be paid. That value and the case of dealing with an experienced attorney needs to be looked at carefully by that attorney, and a decision made as to whether to accept that settlement offer, or whether to perhaps consider taking the case to trial.



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