Free Online Legal Resources
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, and contributions the deceased would have made in the way of comfort, assistance, advice, protection, companionship, etc. Damages for loss of emotional pleasure and punitive damages are not recoverable in a wrongful death action.
Punitive damages are intended to punish a defendant and deter others from similar conduct. They are only awarded upon clear and convincing evidence that the defendant acted with malice or wanton and willful disregard of persons who foreseeably might be harmed. No defendant is liable for punitive damages in an amount in excess of five times the liability of that defendant for compensatory damages, or $350,000, whichever is greater.
Public entities are not liable for damages for pain and suffering unless the claimant suffered a loss of bodily function, permanent disfigurement or dismemberment, and medical expenses are in excess of $1,000. Public entities are not liable for punitive damages. Nonprofit hospitals are only liable for damages up to $250,000.
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.