Gavel and mallet by a stethoscope to represent medical malpractice law.
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By Joseph Dell
Managing Partner

Economic and non-economic damages are typically available in medical malpractice suits. Non-economic damages reimburse injured parties for intangible harms they’ve suffered, such as physical and emotional pain. In this article, we discuss non-economic damages in medical malpractice suits in New York. 

Difference Between Economic Damages and Non-Economic Damages

Economic damages are the tangible losses a person experiences as a result of medical malpractice. These types of damages can typically be easily documented and calculated. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, compensate medical malpractice victims for issues like pain and suffering, emotional distress, and similar mental or physical issues.  

Does New York Cap Medical Malpractice Non-Economic Damages?

Around half of all states impose limits, also called caps, on the amount of non-economic damages a person can receive in a medical malpractice lawsuit. Some of these states have fixed caps, while others have fluctuating caps. In addition, some states place caps on both economic and non-economic damages. Fortunately, New York does not impose caps on non-economic damages.

Common Types of Non-Economic Damages

Common types of non-economic damages available in medical malpractice lawsuits include: 

Pain and suffering: Many people who are harmed as a result of medical malpractice suffer physical pain and mental suffering. Fortunately, most courts allow injured parties to seek damages for pain and suffering. The amount available for such damages varies depending on jurisdiction and state.  

Loss of enjoyment of life: Some injuries are so serious that they permanently affect the way a person can live his or her life. For example, some medical malpractice injuries prevent victims from participating in the types of activities that they were able to do prior to the incident. In this situation, an injured party can pursue non-economic damages for loss of enjoyment of life. 

Disfigurement: If the harm a person suffered due to medical malpractice caused extensive physical scarring on a visible part of the body, such as the face hands, or arms, then the victim may be entitled to non-economic damages for disfigurement. 

Loss of consortium: Loss of consortium damages may be available when a medical malpractice injury affects a person’s relationship with his or her spouse. To be eligible for such damages, the effect on the relationship may be physical or mental in nature. 

Emotional Distress: Finally, medical malpractice victims often experience severe emotional distress. This, in turn, can lead to psychological problems, such as depression and anxiety.  People who suffer these types of ailments at the hands of a healthcare provider may be entitled to non-economic damages for emotional distress. 

Contact a Long Island Medical Malpractice Attorney 

If you have been injured as a result of medical malpractice in New York, you should immediately contact an experienced medical malpractice lawyer. At Dell & Dean, PLLC, our experienced New York attorneys help medical malpractice victims obtain financial compensation for their injuries. Please contact us today to schedule an initial consultation with one of our experienced medical malpractice attorneys.

About the Author
Joseph G. Dell, the firm’s Managing Partner, is regarded as one of New York State’s top trial lawyers and a zealous advocate of those injured through the negligence of others. Having founded the firm in 1994 with the singular goal of leveling the playing field for those injured, Mr. Dell has worked tirelessly for his clients since its inception. In addition to meeting with clients on a daily basis and trying cases, Mr. Dell is a frequent lecturer at Law School and Bar Associations on cases of significant importance in the fields of negligence and medical malpractice. If you have any questions regarding this article, you can contact Mr. Dell here.