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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. Noneconomic damages are limited to the greater of $250,000 or three times economic damages up to a maximum of $500,000. For permanent and substantial injuries, the limits increase to the greater of 1,000,000 or $35,000 times the claimant`s remaining life expectancy.
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 malice or intent, not just negligence. Punitive damages may not exceed three times the amount of compensatory damages or $100,000. Punitive damage awards against corporate defendant are limited to three times compensatory damages or $250,000. Political subdivisions are immune form 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.