When a patient is seriously injured or dies because of medical negligence or errors, it impacts the whole family. One of the practical things that everyone notices is all the work around the house that the affected person is no longer around or able to do.
In most families, everyone has chores and responsibilities around the house. I’m thinking about things like grocery shopping, shuttling children, mowing the grass, repairs, and maintenance. Imagine what it would cost if you had to hire someone to do all of those things—or the time and exhaustion you’d experience if you had to do everything yourself.
This type of harm and loss to an individual and family is called loss of household services, and it’s recoverable in a medical malpractice case. Because it’s a type of economic damages, it’s not subject to the harsh tort reform caps under Texas law.
It’s up to the jury to decide how a person’s loss or disability impacts household services. In medical malpractice lawsuits that I take to trial, where loss of household services is an issue, I hire an economist to provide expert testimony. Typically, the economist makes calculations based on $10 a day, $20 a day, or $50 a day over the injured or deceased person’s lifetime. I’ve found that this type of information helps the jury make a good decision in awarding damages for loss of household services as part of a plaintiff’s verdict.
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The Texas medical malpractice attorneys at Painter Law Firm know the ins and outs of this complex area of the law and are here to help.
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Robert Painter is an award-winning medical malpractice attorney at Painter Law Firm PLLC, in Houston, Texas. He is a former hospital administrator who represents patients and family members in medical negligence and wrongful death lawsuits all over Texas.