It really is heartbreaking that medical malpractice even exists when it is the duty of physicians and hospitals to provide patients with a standard of care. Though the law cannot fix your broken heart, it can alleviate financial burdens brought about by medical malpractice through compensatory damages and punitive damages.
Punitive damages are meant to punish the offender and prevent them from repeating medical malpractice at a maximum amount of twice the compensatory damages. On the other hand, compensatory damages are those meant to compensate you, the patient, for the economic and noneconomic damages you have suffered.
The difference between economic and noneconomic damages
Economic damages are intended to reimburse the amount of money the patient spent or lost due to the injury. Economic damages involve but are not limited to those listed below:
· Income lost from being unable to work due to sickness or injury
· Medical bills for treatment and rehabilitation
· Money spent on medicines and medical supplies
When we talk about noneconomic damages, these are injuries that affect a person’s quality of life, including such circumstances as:
· Permanent and significant disfigurement or defacement
· A permanent disability that completely changes a person’s everyday life
· Mental agony and torment
· Physical pain and suffering
· Loss of consortium, society and or companionship
While economic damages are easier to quantify, noneconomic damages are ultimately more challenging to live with. Therefore, claims for noneconomic damages are usually issued higher compensation by the court.
Compensation for economic damages and noneconomic damages
Ohio has no limitation on the economic damages awarded in court. The civil action will consider the nature of your claim and the amount of money owed to you. For noneconomic loss that is proven and justified, the court can award you the greater of $250,000 or an amount that is thrice your economic loss. Noneconomic losses cannot exceed $1,000,000 for each occurrence.
It is not right that the person you trusted to heal you was the very person who caused you more harm. The very least they could do is compensate you appropriately for the damages.