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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, and contributions the deceased would have made in the way of comfort, assistance, advice, protection, companionship, etc.
Punitive damages are intended to punish a defendant and deter others from similar conduct. Punitive damages may be awarded only if the claimant proves that the defendant acted with fraud, malice, willful or wanton conduct. Punitive damages may not exceed three times the amount of compensatory damages or $250,000; whichever is greater.
The state is only liable for damages up to $150,000 for an injury to one person. For state employees the damage cap amount is excess over any commercial policy limits the employee has. In general, cities and counties are immune from liability, but waive immunity to the extent they carry liability 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.