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Class Action Lawsuits
In the 1970's the onslaught of Asbestos lawsuits began. The target of the class action lawsuits have been shipbuilders, manufacturers, mining companies and construction companies. Because many of these buildings/mines/ships still stand mesothelioma and of course mesothelioma class action lawsuits continue. Mesothelioma causes death so you would think that the reward should be substantial.
Generally, three types of damages are covered in Illinois law: economic damages, non-economic damages and disciplinary damages. Medical malpractice damages include only economic damages and non-economic damages. Medical malpractice is a type of carelessness, which occurs unintentionally. Therefore, medical malpractice damages do not include disciplinary damages, which are generally a type of punishment.
All the medical bills and expenses that come up due to malpractice, such as hospital bills, prescriptions, and transportation charges, are covered under economic damages. The jury cannot grant any fixed amount for medical malpractice economic damages because all types of expenditures that a patient has to bear due to medical malpractice come under the economic damages. Therefore, a patient should be awarded the entire amount he is billed for.
Non-economic damages include all indefinable costs that a patient has to bear, like pain and suffering or even loss of relationships. Since August 2005, the amount of non-economic damages has been restricted to $500,000 against individual doctors and $1,000,000 against hospitals. Thus, according to Illinois law, a patient can claim for all economic damages due to medical negligence and for non-economic damages as well. Once the total amount of damages is decided, certain amount is deducted from the amount of damages for the patient’s own relative mistakes. These deductions can be as much as 50% depending upon the patient’s negligence.
If a patient is more than 50% at fault, he will not get anything. For instance, if a patient does not follow his doctor’s instructions, like not to drive at least for ten days after releasing from the hospital and gets badly injured while driving against his advice, the jury would come to know that the applicant’s fault was more than 50%. Therefore, he would not be allowed to claim anything from the doctor. Again, if the jury determines that the patient’s fault was less than 50%, the doctors or hospitals would have to pay as much for malpractice damages as decided by the jury. Very difficult cases can last for many years and the applicant has to bear expensive legal fees. However, the legal system in Illinois tries to keep a right balance by defending the interests of both the patients and the doctors.
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