The most common examples are: Every case is different and there are no clear rules about how the exact amount of damages is determined.
Although there is often some guesswork involved, particularly when it comes to future medical expenses, special damages are typically more exact than general damages.
This article covers the types of damages that patients and their families can recover in medical malpractice lawsuits, as well as some of the limits that states impose on the amounts that can be recovered.
(To learn more about medical malpractice claims, read Nolo's article Medical Malpractice Basics.) To get a damage award, the patient must show that: The three categories of damages available in medical malpractice cases are general, special, and punitive. General damages refer to the patient's cost of suffering that, although real, cannot by its nature have a definite price.
These damages generally include everything allowed in a malpractice suit had the patient survived, except for damages relating to the future, like earning capacity.
Some survival statutes also provide for recovery of funeral expenses, although this is usually part of the wrongful death statute. Wrongful death statutes are designed to compensate the patient's family for their future monetary loss.