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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 medical malpractice cases, noneconomic damages are limited by statute to an amount adjusted annually. Punitive damages are intended to punish a defendant for reckless or malicious behavior and deter others from similar conduct. They are only recoverable 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.
An award of noneconomic damages in a medical malpractice case is limited to $250,000 for causes of action accruing on or after October 1, 1995. Liability of the state and its political subdivisions is limited to $750,000 per claim and $1,500,000 per occurrence and they are immune from liability 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.