What Damages are Available in an Opioid Case?

As people around the country begin to become more familiar with the opioid epidemic and its devastating effects, more and more lawsuits are beginning to emerge. These lawsuits are usually filed against doctors, although there have been some high-profile cases filed against the manufacturers of the drug as well.

News of these cases often cause victims of addiction, and their families, to wonder if they also have a personal case injury case against a doctor or manufacturer. For many of these individuals, the answer is yes. Most of these opioid cases fall under the area of medical malpractice, a type of personal injury law. When individuals are successful with their medical malpractice claim, they may be entitled to the damages listed below.

Recoverable Losses Available in an Opioid Case

Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor or other medical professional demonstrates negligence and, as a result, a patient suffers harm. Like in most personal injury cases, there are two types of damages available in medical malpractice claims. These are compensatory damages, also known as actual damages or economic damages.

Economic damages are losses that have an actual dollar value. In an opioid case, these damages include medical expenses, lost wages, and substance abuse counseling. Non-economic damages are losses that do not have an actual dollar value. Pain and suffering, emotional distress, and a decreased quality of life are all examples of non-economic damages.

Could Families Make a Claim in the Event of a Wrongful Death?

Tragically, opioid addiction often takes the lives of people who suffer from addiction. When that is the case, loved ones may be able to file a wrongful death claim against a doctor or a manufacturer.

Damages available in a wrongful death claim are somewhat similar to damages available in a personal injury case filed by a victim. There are both economic and non-economic damages available in a wrongful death claim.

However, damages in wrongful death claims are meant to compensate loved ones for the losses they have sustained as a result of the loss. These damages can include financial support the deceased provided to the household, funeral and burial costs, and the loss of the support, comfort, and guidance the deceased provided to loved ones.

Caps on Recoverable Losses in Opioid Cases

Depending on the type of claim that is filed, there may be certain caps, or limits, placed on damages. In California, there are no caps placed on economic damages in medical malpractice claims or in wrongful death claims. In cases that involve wrongful death, there are also no limits placed on non-economic damages.

California law though, does state that there are caps on non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases. These damages are limited by the cap to $250,000, meaning that is the maximum amount a judge or jury can award when a person has suffered losses due to an opioid addiction.

Our Personal Injury Lawyers Could Assist with Your Claim

There are many types of damages available in opioid cases, but they are not always easy to claim. If you or a loved one has suffered losses as a result of an opioid addiction, contact our personal injury lawyers. We know how to argue these cases effectively and negotiate with the other side to help you claim the full amount of compensation you need. Call us today so we can get started on your case.