Does Oklahoma cap damages in medical malpractice cases?
Yes. Like a lot of states, Oklahoma
lawmakers have passed a statute that places a limit or “cap” on the amount of
compensation that can be awarded to a plaintiff in a medical
malpractice lawsuit. So, even after a jury holds a defendant liable for
malpractice, this law kicks in to limit the actual amount that the plaintiff can
end up getting.
Before we get to what
Oklahoma’s law says, let’s differentiate the two main types of damages in
medical malpractice cases: economic and non-economic.
Economic damages typically
consist of payment of past and future medical care, reimbursement of lost
income, compensation for lost earning capacity, and other financial losses that
can be attributed to the doctor
or hospital’s malpractice.
Non-economic damages include
compensation for things like pain and suffering, emotional distress, and the
loss of enjoyment of life that result from the defendant’s medical malpractice.
Non-economic damages are said to be more “subjective” from plaintiff to
plaintiff, and they’re not so easy to capture with a dollar amount.
Oklahoma’s damages cap applies only to
non-economic damages. Under Oklahoma Statutes section 23-61.2, non-economic
damages are capped at $350,000 in all civil cases seeking compensation for injury , unless the case involves wrongful death or the court
finds “clear and convincing” evidence that the defendant acted with:
Learn more about Damages
in Medical Malpractice Cases.
by: David Goguen, J.D.