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Damages are divided into actual or out of pocket damages to get you back to where you were, damages for causing the injury, and the hurt or pain and suffering, and punitive damages to punish the offender.
Typically the out of pocket costs are straight forward. Compensation for pain and suffering or for the non-fixable harm e.g. lost arm.of loss of life is a little harder to calculate. The punitive damages to punish the offender a lot of times depends on how bad the conduct of the offender is, and the potential for harm to the public.
In the McDonald's case, the actual cost to treat the burn was probably minimal, the hurt for being burned was also probably a reasonable amount, the punitive aspect in trying to encourage McDonald's to fix the problem might have led to extreme award. By the way the original award was drastically reduced by the Judge.
There is some case law on how to judge if an award is too high. In many cases the pain and suffering aspect is a multiple of the actual cost e.g 3-10 times the actual cost depending on the severity of injury. Punitive damages tend to be based on the size of the offender, ability to pay, and how flagrant its activity was in causing the harm.
When computing the actual costs an attorney has to forecast future medical costs as well as present. These are presented to the Jury to help them decide on an amount. In one case I am familiar a young child was scalded by hot water. The landlord was successfully sued for $1,000,000.00 The rational was the child would need treatment for many years, and rehab ( the burns were severe over most of the child skin).
Many States have enacted tort reform laws to limit awards. Jury's in some cases get carried away and States have recognized this to be a problem and enacted these tort reforms.
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This is an excellent answer, Exactly what I want to see is the State, government, doctors punished to the point that they correct this great injustice.
So, if one suffers kidnap, mental torture which is passed on throughout the family as well.
How would we put a money value to a 3 year kidnapping COSIGNED by the doctor, government and State agencies of a know dementia patient where they were WARNED over and over that they were being lied to by the kidnapper pretending to be in good faith. The kidnapper (my brother) coached the dementia patient (my mom) that she would be locked away in a nursing home for life and loose all of her money if she didn't cooperate with him. So not KNOWING him she did. But... They had my testimony and past practices to show how mother NEVER trusted my brother in her right mind. To make it easy, they REFUSED to investigate our relationship or any of my testimony (referring to the GAL) They (GAL and judge) accepted my corrupt brother's testimony as truth (with significantly LARGE amounts of evidence showing that he was lying) and fought against my rights to have my testimony investigated by talking to people who knew our family. "It's not necessary."
Since my mother is now broke, has been maliciously controlled from visiting the one person she was closest to (ME)
I have recently FORCED the judge to recuse her self by requesting that she substantiate the order, but it has take 3 years of our lives lost and MUCH abuse now known in the courts of my brother before I could get to this point. In court I will argue or hope to get an attorney to argue the point that
1. the adult protection agency
2. State appointed guardian ad litem
3. and judge
4. and doctor
SHOULD HAVE BEEN RESPONSIBLE TO at least talk to others around the dementia patient as she would never know what she was doing and to help the families never to go through this living nightmare.
Dementia is bad enough and an act of GOD.
Greedy and wicked brother/son in general non existent. In our family, IT WAS REAL. It was reported as such and it was ignored up until the greedy son thought it was all in his control and began showing the horns that they were all told was there and THAT THERE WERE WITNESSES AVAILABLE. THEY (1-4) all refused to talk to anyone the GAL refused to talk to me period and I am the petitioner of the case because my mother first told her that she was scared to death of me and that I was going to put her in the nursing home (of course all fed by my brother) The GAL told my mother she should not allow me over to her house and refused to hear my side. I reported this to the court that the GAL never spoke to me and has heard one side and will not even consider my witness or my testimony. I then motioned the court to rule the Gal's report biased and incomplete based on the fact that 1. I was the petitioner, 2. my testimony regarding the situation has not been heard. 3. my witnesses have not been contacted.
The judge ignored me. We went to court. My testimony meant NOTHING. She ruled according to the GAL and my mother had lived in hell ever since.
When I get my mother back I plan to sue the 4 agencies/people for what they did to my mother and get her finances and PERSON back into order.
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