What Damages Can I Recover?

You are entitled to recover for any actual damages that were proximately caused by the wrongful conduct of the defendant. Actual damages refers to the amount of money it would take to fully compensate you and place you in the same position you would have been in had the injury never taken place. You can recover for losses such as costs of reasonable and necessary medical care, property damage, car rental expenses, costs of domestic services, and loss of earnings. The law allows compensation for future medical and care expenses that the claimant can prove will be reasonably necessary to treat the injury. The claim may include income the claimant can prove will probably be lost in the future because of the injuries. Loss of earning capacity is also allowed when the patient proves he or she is less able to earn a living as a result of the injuries

You are also entitled to non­economic damages for physical pain and suffering, mental and emotional suffering, physical impairment, inconvenience, disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of consortium (disruption of your personal relationship with your spouse), etc. There is no definite standard of calculating reasonable compensation for these types of damages other than being just and reasonable in light of the evidence.

In certain instances, damages may be awarded to families of injured claimants for loss of care, companionship, love and affection. Family members can be compensated for the wrongful death of a loved one. These damages may include medical and burial expenses, loss of income that would have supported the family members, emotional suffering, and loss of the pleasures of the family relationship.

Before a person may recover punitive damages in any civil action, that person must establish, by clear and convincing evidence, all of the facts that are relied upon by that person to support the recovery of punitive damages. A punitive damage award may not be more than the greater of three times the amount of compensatory damages awarded or $50,000. In most cases, the claimant only receives 25% of the punitive damage award. The remainder is deposited into the violent crime victims compensation fund.

The maximum combined liability of all governmental entities and all public employees acting within the scope of their employment for an injury or death arising out of a single occurrence is $300,000 per person and $5 million for all persons. For claims brought pursuant to the Medical Malpractice Act, there is a limit on the amount pf damages that may be awarded. The cap allows recovery up to $1,250,000.00 in damages for malpractice that occurred after June 30, 1999. The maximum recoverable award for malpractice that occurred on or before June 30, 1999 would be $750,000.

The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.

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