When you sue your doctor and/or the facility for which (s)he works for medical malpractice, you allege that (s)he and/or someone on your health care team acted negligently in diagnosing or treating you.

Find Law explains that if you prevail in your medical malpractice lawsuit, you can expect to recover two types of damages: economic and noneconomic.

Economic damages

Economic damages are those you receive to compensate you for your out-of-pocket expenses resulting from your medical malpractice injury or illness. They include such things as the following:

  • Medical bills
  • Vocational rehabilitation
  • Household services
  • Loss of earnings
  • Loss of earning capacity

Noneconomic damages

Noneconomic damages are those you receive to compensate you for your intangible losses, including the following:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Anxiety
  • Loss of companionship
  • Scarring
  • Disfigurement

Punitive damages

In some situations, you may also recover punitive damages. The jury awards you these damages over and above your economic and noneconomic damages to punish the defendant(s) for behavior or actions amounting to willful misconduct, malice, fraud, etc.

Damage caps

Georgia law provides for no limits to the amount of economic and noneconomic damages you can receive. It does, however, limit the amount of punitive damages the jury can award you to $250,000.

You must produce clear and convincing evidence in court to back up your claim not only of medical malpractice, but also for the various damage amounts you seek. Naturally, the severity of your injury or illness will play a major role in all such evidence. The testimony of your expert witnesses likewise should help the jury determine the amount of your noneconomic damages, plus whether or not to award you punitive damages.