What damages can be awarded in medical malpractice claims?

Medical malpractice claims can be particularly upsetting. In these cases, people are often dealing with an adverse medical event and claims of wrongdoing, which takes an enormous toll on everyone involved. There can also be considerable financial damages involved.

More specifically, there are three categories of damages that courts could award to people injured by medical negligence or recklessness: economic, non-economic and punitive.

Economic vs. non-economic vs. punitive damages

  • Economic damages are damages that can be calculated. This can include medical expenses, lost wages and the cost of any medical equipment or care staff that a person may require.
  • Non-economic damages are more subjective and difficult to calculate, though they can still be substantial. These damages include pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life and emotional anguish.
  • Punitive damages are damages that serve as a means of punishing a defendant for particularly bad or negligent acts. 

Limits on damages in New Mexico

The courts can award whatever damages they see fit; every case will be different. However, it is crucial to understand that in accordance with New Mexico malpractice laws, there is a cap of $600,000 on the dollar amount recoverable. 

This limit does not apply to medical care and benefits or punitive damages.

Resolving malpractice claims with legal counsel

Medical malpractice claims can be highly emotional and complex. People are dealing with serious injuries, scrutiny over incredibly complicated medical procedures and the potential for sizable financial recovery.

Considering the intricacies and the high stakes of a medical malpractice claim, it can be wise for people to consult an attorney regarding their legal options. An attorney with experience in these difficult cases can help parties assess their settlement options or argue the matter in court, should the case go to trial.

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