What items can be claimed for non economic damages from the professional mal practice negligence inflicted on me? How are they assessed and calculated? Is there still a cap at 100,000 I read about in Florida? Is it a judge or jury who will decide on them, if so what categories are included?I have a lawyer who is preparing a claim. I did not really understand all he explained and am seeking more details about non economic damages. Because this site advertises itself as offering "ask a lawyer" .My preferred approach is to read up on the subject first , become partly familiar , and know some of the terminology and after discuss it with my attorney.
It is the fallout from your injuries from the malpractice. However, before wondering how big they can be get to square one--have someone accept your case as medical negligence. They are risky, expensive, you need to focus on the proof of causation issues more than what you can get.
These are all questions that need to be addressed with the lawyer you hire to handle the case with you. Quite candidly, med-mal cases are simply too expensive, complex and risky to handle pro-se if that is the basis for your question.
My colleagues are correct in their observations that your first step is to find out if you have a viable med/mal case. You can't do it yourself; you need to get an attorney.
You are right. This site advertises "ask your lawyer." And that Is exactly what I advise you to do... ask your lawyer. No one here can advise you as well as your lawyer.
This answer is intended for informational purposes only. No attorney-client relationship is established by the use of this site. Nothing on this site is intended to be, nor takes the place of, legal advice.
"Noneconomic damages" are damages which are not paid for to be paid for with money. They are defined by statute “Noneconomic damages” means nonfinancial losses that would not have occurred but for the injury giving rise to the cause of action, including pain and suffering, inconvenience, physical impairment, mental anguish, disfigurement, loss of capacity for enjoyment of life, and other nonfinancial losses to the extent the claimant is entitled to recover such damages under general law. " Florida statutes section 766.202(8).
If you ask for a jury it will be a jury that makes a decision unless you settle the matter before hand or lose a legal issue and never present the matter of damages to the jury at all. The only way the judge will decide the damages would be if both sides agree. There is a possible exception to that rule dealing with unfairly low or unfairly high damage awards (additur or remittitur) but this issue is extremely uncommon in practice.
There are Noneconomic Damages caps in Florida pursuant to Florida Statute Section 766.118. But these limitations depend upon the nature of the injury, see your are going to have to read the statute to see which of them might apply to you. Also keep in mind that the statute was held unconstitutional as a denial of equal protection under the state constitution in Estate of McCall v. United States, 134 So.3d 894 (Fla. 2014). McCall involved the wrongful death but the analysis probably applies to invalidate the limitations in any case.
However, if the defendants admit liability and demand arbitration of the matter (an unusual event) the noneconomic damages are limited to $250,000, if arbitration is accepted, or $350,000 arbitration is refused. See Florida statutes section 766.207 and 766.209. The statutes have been held constitutional in University of Miami v. Echarte, 618 So.2d 189 (Fla. 1993).
This is a summary based on incomplete facts. You should not rely on it as legal advise. No attorney-client relationship is intended to be formed.
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