The Miami Herald has recently reported that the U.S. appeals court in Atlanta has upheld the Florida law that limits the amount of damages that can be awarded in medical malpractice cases. The law specifically limits pain and suffering damages in such cases to $500,000.
What are pain and suffering damages?
Pain and suffering damages are often referred to as non-economic damages. These are often hard to accurately calculate in number terms as they reflect the compensation for mental anguish, inconvenience and loss of ability to enjoy life. It is clear, however, how these damages can be significant in a case involving medical malpractice.
What does this mean in medical malpractice claims?
Medical malpractice claims are often difficult to pursue in Florida and other states. The law is very complicated and has several caps on damages which are dependent on whether an emergency situation, public hospital , catastrophic injury and other criteria. These caps are placed by law makers in an effort to cut malpractice insurance premiums and rates for the medical and pharmaceutical industries. These caps, however, also create arbitrary limits on compensation to victims which may often feel unfair and unjust.