In his previous posts, Dr. Novack--host of “The Eric Novack Show” on KKNT960 AM Phoenix--stressed the importance of embracing the legal system and began dissecting the underlying legal concepts of medical liability. Today, he continues to uncover the keys to a successful medical liability system.
The “corrective justice” theory of tort law states that the person harmed ought to receive compensation for the losses incurred by the injury. Those losses fit into two categories. The first is “lost wages.” If the harm kept a person out of work for 2 weeks then the compensation for lost wages should equal 2 weeks pay. Lost wages also would include the money spent on the extra care required to pay for the harm. Wheelchairs or other assist devices that were purchased, travel expenses, nursing care, other doctor opinions, etc., should be reimbursed.
On the face this seems simple. Just add up the above, get the total, and, if harm was found to have occurred, reimburse that amount. But, of course, even this is not that easy. The economic calculations must also include the amount to cover future expenses that will be incurred due to the injury. For example, if someone injures his hip in a car accident, the expenses can include the possible costs of a future hip replacement and associated rehabilitation. Since these are estimated future expenses, in many cases possibly years later, it is difficult to accurately estimate.
In the current, very adversarial world of medical liability, this is a major area of dispute when damages are discussed and argued. But at least the numbers can be generated using some kind of calculations.
The other category of losses falls into “non-economic damages” or “pain and suffering.”