Medical malpractice involves a healthcare provider being negligent or allowing an accident that goes against the standard practices of a particular procedure or operation. To have a successful medical malpractice suit, the patient needs to be able to prove that the health care provider’s actions caused injury. Most medical malpractice cases are settled outside of court between the doctor or nurse’s insurance representative and the victim’s lawyer. Most states have a set cap on the amount of damages a victim can receive when filing in their state.
Various State Caps on Medical Malpractice
Most of the laws that set caps in medical malpractice cases are focused on non-economic damages such as “pain and suffering.” A couple of states have passed legislation that caps all forms of damages in medical malpractice suits. Maryland has a cap on noneconomic damages at $770,000 and does not have a cap on any other types of damages involving medical malpractice. On the other hand, Connecticut and Rhode Island do not have caps on economic or noneconomic damages for a medical malpractice case.
Some of these caps will increase or decrease depend on the economic climate. Other states will change their cap each year to account for inflation and change in the value of the dollar.
Types of Damages
General damages include the actual injury that was caused by some form of medical malpractice. A patient cannot receive general damages for a condition that was present before the negligence occurred. Special damages cover the more quantifiable costs created by the medical malpractice, these include hospital bills and lost wages from missing work.