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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 for reckless or malicious behavior and are only recoverable in rare cases. Punitive damages may not be awarded if the claimant does not prove by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant against whom punitive damages are sought acted with actual malice, gross negligence which evidences a willful, wanton or reckless disregard for the safety of others, or committed actual fraud.
There are limits to the amount of damages that the State of Mississippi can be held liable for. The same applies to community hospitals. Liability is limited to $50,000 per occurrence for claims accruing between July 1, 1993 and July 1, 1997; $250,000 for claims accruing between July 1, 1997 and July 1, 2001; and $500,000 for claims accruing after July 1, 2001. If the state or its subdivisions purchase insurance above these amounts, then they waive immunity in the amount of the insurance.
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.