When a patient is harmed by a medical professional, it isn’t always possible to pursue medical malpractice litigation. In some cases the issue may be that the case is unlikely to be successful and it is too risky to take it to trial. In other cases, the case may have strong merits but the payoff may not be promising. In such cases, is an injured patient unable to do anything? Not exactly.
In medical malpractice cases, noneconomic damages are an important but controversial issue. Such damages encompass losses that cannot be directly monetized, such as loss of a limb, trauma, pain and suffering, and loss of companionship. In tort reform, noneconomic damages are often capped so that juries don’t give excessive awards. A recent medical malpractice case out of Wisconsin highlights how jury awards can exceed the cap.