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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.
Punitive damages are intended to punish a defendant and deter others from similar conduct. In order to recover punitive damages, a plaintiff must demonstrate actual malice by the defendant. This means that the injured party must show, by clear and convincing evidence, that the defendant`s conduct was motivated by evil motive, intent to injure, ill will, or fraud.
Noneconomic damages (excluding punitive damages) for personal injury and wrongful death actions are capped at $590,000 and the limit is increased by $15,000 on October 1 of every year. The limitation applies in a personal injury action to each direct victim and all persons who claim injury by or through that victim. In a wrongful death action, the total recovery of all beneficiaries cannot exceed 150% of the cap. No punitive damages may be awarded in wrongful death actions. Liability of the State of Maryland is limited to $100,000 per claim and cannot include punitive damages. Liability of any local government is limited to $200,000 per claim and $500,000 per occurrence and may not include punitive damages.
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.