Maryland limits how much a
medical malpractice victim can recover in damages in a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.
The state’s statutes include caps on the amount that may be recovered
for noneconomic damages in a medical malpractice claim. The medical malpractice
limit is different from that which applies in other personal injury claims,
such as negligence suits after an automobile collision or slip and fall accident.
Maryland’s medical malpractice damage cap applies to lawsuits against
health care providers, which is a broad category including hospitals,
doctors, nurses, therapists, dentists, nursing home employees, etc. The
cap applies only to noneconomic damages, and applies in both personal
injury and wrongful death claims.
Maryland law caps only noneconomic damages in medical malpractice claims.
Economic damages compensate the victim for expenses that the injured person
must pay as a result of the accident. This may include, for example, compensation
for past and future medical bills, therapy costs, and lost wages or loss
of earning capacity.
Noneconomic damages, in contrast, are intended to compensate the medical
malpractice victim for the intangible losses associated with the injury.
In a personal injury claim, this may include compensation for pain and
suffering, anxiety, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of
consortium for a spouse, or scarring and disfigurement. In a wrongful
death claim, it may include damages for loss of support, protection, or
companionship, mental anguish, loss of marital, parental, or filial care,
or emotional suffering.
Maryland’s medical malpractice damage caps have no effect on economic
damages. They also do not limit punitive damages, which are intended to
punish a health care provider in a case of egregious negligence or wrongdoing.
No matter how many defendants there are, recovery for noneconomic damages in an
individual medical malpractice claim is capped at $755,000 for 2015. The cap increases by $15,000 every year.
The damage cap on individual personal injury claims applies to all claims
arising from the same medical injury. Thus, it applies both to the direct
victim of the malpractice and to anyone claiming injury through him or
her. For example, a spouse claiming damages for
loss of consortium is included in this cap.
A medical malpractice wrongful death claim with two or more beneficiaries
is limited to 125 percent of the cap for the individual. Thus, for 2015,
recover is capped at $943,750. The people who may bring a
wrongful death claim include, if the decedent is an adult, a spouse, minor children, the other
parent of the decedent’s child, or children under age 21 who receive
a majority of their support from the deceased parent. If the decedent
is a minor child, his or her parents may bring the wrongful death claim.
Charles County, MD Personal Injury Lawyers that Fight for You
Medical malpractice can have devastating effects, not only economically,
but also emotionally and on quality of life. If you have been injured
because of the carelessness of a medical professional, please contact
a Maryland personal injury attorney at the Law Office of Robert R. Castro
for a free initial consultation.