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You are entitled to noneconomic damages for pain, suffering, inconvenience, physical impairment, disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life, etc. California places a cap on noneconomic damages for medical malpractice cases, limiting recovery to $250,000. Only one $250,000 recovery is allowed in wrongful death cases. There is, however, authority for allowing separate caps for the patient and a spouse claiming loss of consortium.
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 death of a loved one caused by medical malpractice. 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. Punitive damages are intended to punish a defendant and are only awarded in rare cases. A plaintiff must prove by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant was guilty of oppression, fraud or malice. There are no fixed standards as to the amount of punitive damages a jury can award.
This article is intended to be helpful and informative. But even common legal matters can become complex and stressful. A qualified medical malpractice lawyer can address your particular legal needs, explain the law, and represent you in court. Take the first step now and contact a local medical malpractice attorney to discuss your specific legal situation.