What Is My Medical Malpractice Case Worth?

How are Medical Malpractice Settlements and Awards Calculated?

Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor, nurse, hospital, or other health care provider or institution causes someone permanent or temporary harm. Medical negligence can be catastrophic, can be permanent, and can even be fatal. Many times, prospective clients want to know what their case is worth. The below explains how medical malpractice insurance companies, judges, juries, and lawyers value and evaluate medical malpractice cases.

What is the formula to calculate a medical malpractice claim?

The formula to determine how much value to provide to a victim of medical negligence is below:

Value = Economic Damages (past & future) + Noneconomic Damages (past & future)

Some examples of the formula above may be pain and suffering, past medical bills, future medical bills, past lost wages, future lost wages, disfigurement, decreased quality of life, etc. As you can imagine, this can sometimes be a complex process to understand and calculate.

What is the process to determine the value of a medical malpractice case?

First, we need to gather and understand all the circumstances and facts of your medical malpractice or medical negligence case. In addition, we need to determine exactly what expenses and damages have been incurred due to the negligence of others. We need to gather and examine all medical records and have these records examined by a medical or nursing expert for an initial assessment as to the strengths and / or weaknesses of your medical malpractice case. After we have these facts, we can use the formula above to understand what the value of your case is worth.

As you can imagine, this can be a complex process.

What Are Economic Damages?

Economic damages are those things that can be calculated with near certainty. These items include:

  • Past and future medical bills
  • Past and future lost wages
  • Past and future adaptive devices and care needs; medical devices, wheelchairs, etc.
  • Past and future medication needs

What Are Non-Economic Damages?

Non-economic damages are things that can be more difficult to calculate. Non-economic damages include things like past and future pain and suffering, disfigurement, decreased quality of life, etc. It is difficult to exactly know how any one judge, jury, defense lawyer, or insurance adjuster is going to value non-economic damages. Lawyers will look to recent settlements and verdicts for similar types of cases for guidance.

How do lawyers and juries evaluate and calculate a claim?

You can learn more about general jury instructions here.

Some calculations used to determine the value of a claim or case may include the following:

Life expectancy – in the case of a fatal medical malpractice claim, or wrongful death claim the jury may use a life expectancy table to put a value on the damages incurred. For example, let’s say a 40 year old male was fatally killed due to a surgical error. According to the table, the life expectancy of that man would be 76.64 (approximately 76 and a half years of age). Therefore we can calculate and project the man’s future lost wages based on this information.

We hire and consult with experts to help us calculate these damages. We work with occupational and employment experts, medical professionals, doctors, nurses, economists and other experts to calculate and use statistical projections to understand the true value of every case we work on.


If you or a loved one have become the victim of medical malpractice, or you want more information on the value of your medical malpractice or negligence case, contact Ray Gupta & Associates for a FREE case evaluation today. We help people and families throughout Illinois and Indiana. Call us at (312) 548-6238 or (219) 766-5290.

Cases are taken on a contingency fee basis. You pay nothing unless your case is successful and results in compensation.