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Limitations on Non-Economic Damages in Maryland Medical Malpractice Cases

Maryland medical malpractice caseAfter a medical malpractice claim has been prepared, filed, and argued in court, a jury will decide the case and award damages if the claimant is determined to have been the victim of medical malpractice. In the state of Maryland there are complex limitations on non-economic damages (emotional and physical pain and suffering) that can be awarded. The term “damages” refers to the award, usually money, that is paid out to a person as compensation, and putting a limit on them usually benefits the health care provider over the victim. Here we will look at the statute and examine how it could affect your medical malpractice claim.     

How the Limit is Calculated

Non-economic damage awards to medical malpractice victims “for a cause of action arising between January 1, 2005, and December 31, 2008, inclusive, may not exceed $650,000.” The statute then accounts for inflation by including a a $15,000 annual increase to the limit. This means that if your medical malpractice injury occurred this year, a successful claim would have a non-economic damage limit of $785,000. There is no limitation on damages awarded for past and or future economic losses such as past and or future medical expenses or lost wages.

Two or More Claimants in a Wrongful Death Action

While the statute may seem mostly straightforward, things begin to become complicated in cases where there are multiple claimants in a wrongful death case.  The statute states:

(ii) If there is a wrongful death action in which there are two or more claimants or beneficiaries, whether or not there is a personal injury action arising from the same medical injury, the total amount awarded for noneconomic damages for all actions may not exceed 125% of the limitation established under paragraph (1) of this subsection, regardless of the number of claims, claimants, plaintiffs, beneficiaries, or defendants.

Reduction of Awards Over Limit

During a jury trial for medical malpractice the jury is not allowed to know the limitation of damages. Subparagraph two of the relevant section of the limitation states that, “If the jury awards an amount for noneconomic damages that exceeds the limitation established under subsection (b) of this section, the court shall reduce the amount to conform to the limitation.”

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The Snyder Law Group, LLC, proudly represents clients throughout Maryland and Washington, D.C. Our experienced Baltimore attorneys understand the frustration that comes with an insurance company, medical professional, or other party that refuses to accept liability for negligent or reckless behavior. You can take heart in knowing there are talented and experienced lawyers ready to work for you. We are experienced in handling personal injury claims of medical malpractice or injury resulting from serious car and truck accidents, and have secured hundreds of millions in verdicts settlements*. Please visit our website, www.410thefirm.com, for more information and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google +, and LinkedIn.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017 at 9:23 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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