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Medical Malpractice Damage Caps in Maryland

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.

The Caps

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.

Noneconomic Damages

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.

Individual Claims

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.

Wrongful Death

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.

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