How Oklahoma's Noneconomic Damages Cap Can Impact
Your Personal Injury Claim
If you are in an accident and receive serious injuries, you will probably want to sue the person who is to blame. The amount of money you can receive as compensation in a personal injury lawsuit is known as "damages." There are two kinds of damages that are generally available in a personal injury case: economic and noneconomic.
Oklahoma law defines "economic damages" as monetary harm, like the wages you lose from missing work, the cost of medical care resulting from the injury, and other costs directly caused by the injury.
"Noneconomic damages" are defined as compensation for non-monetary harms that happened because of the event that caused the injury. These damages are more commonly known as compensation for "pain and suffering."
What is Pain and Suffering Under Oklahoma Law?
Pain and suffering refer to mental and physical stress resulting from an injury or the accident which caused it. Under Oklahoma law, a person may receive the following types of noneconomic damages:
• Mental anguish
• Pain and suffering
• Loss of consortium, companionship, care, assistance, guidance, counsel, protection, attention, training, education and instruction
• Any other intangible loss
How Pain and Suffering Damages Are Calculated
When a jury or judge determines that you are entitled to noneconomic damages, they will consider all of the circumstances that happened during and after the accident. Economic damages do not have any limitations on how much a person can recover. However, like many states, Oklahoma imposed damage caps on how much money you can receive for pain and suffering.
Damage Caps for Pain and Suffering Damages in Oklahoma
"Damage caps" limit the amount of money a person can recover in a lawsuit. There is a $350,000 cap on noneconomic damages generally, and a $300,000 cap on noneconomic damages of certain medical malpractice claims.
There are, however, exceptions to the damage caps. There is no limit if the defendant (1) acted in reckless disregard for the rights of others; (2) acted in gross negligence; (3) was fraudulent; or (4) acted intentionally or with malice.
Personal injury can result in devastating long-term economic and noneconomic damages, especially when a person receives injuries that are disabling. To understand how much you may be entitled to, contact an experienced Oklahoma personal injury lawyer. A lawyer can help you gather the evidence, develop a winning strategy and consult with medical experts. Contact us today or call 405-542-2529 (542-CLAW) and we will immediately have one of our Oklahoma Injury Law Attorneys speak with you. Read more about our team, or continue reading and researching our free legal information library.