Compensatory damages are further categorized into special damages, which are economic losses such as loss of earnings, property damage and medical expenses, and general damages, which are non-economic damages such as pain and suffering and emotional distress.
For example, a judge might seat an advisory jury to guide the judge in awarding non-economic damages (such as "pain and suffering" damages) in a case where there is no right to a jury trial, such as (depending on state law) a case involving "equitable" rather than "legal" claims.
The Florida Senate, a majority of which were Republican, opposed Bush's proposed caps on non-economic damages for injury and wrongful death.
In February 2005, he proposed a medical malpractice bill that would cap non-economic damages at $250,000 for physicians, hospitals, and long-term care facilities.
In January 2003, Taft signed Ohio Senate Bill 281 into law, which limited non-economic damages in medical injury lawsuits.
The bill limited non-economic damages to $350,000 and imposed a statute of limitations.
This contrasts with the American tort system, where the legal rules concerning both liability and non-economic damages ("pain and suffering") are stated in general terms, leaving a great deal to the judgment of constantly rotating lay juries—which in turn makes courtroom outcomes variable and difficult to predict.
His focus in Texas was on tort reform, signing a bill in 2003 that restricted non-economic damages in medical malpractice judgments.