Does Oklahoma cap damages in medical malpractice cases?


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:

  • gross negligence
  • reckless disregard for the rights of others
  • fraudulent intent, and/or
  • with malice or the intent to cause harm.

Learn more about Damages in Medical Malpractice Cases.

by: , J.D.

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