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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. Punitive damages are intended to punish a defendant for reckless or malicious behavior and are only awarded in rare cases.
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.
In Massachusetts, there is a limitation of damages for pain and suffering that a plaintiff may receive in a medical malpractice case. The jury may not award more than $500,000 noneconomic damages unless the jury determines that there is a substantial or permanent loss or impairment of a bodily function or substantial disfigurement or other special circumstances in the case which warrant a finding that imposition of such a limitation would deprive the plaintiff of just compensation for the injuries sustained. Liability of a public entity is limited to $100,000 and no public entity may be liable for 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.