What Is the Cap on Medical Malpractice in Maryland?
People who file a medical malpractice lawsuit in Baltimore, Maryland may be curious about the damage cap on any compensation they receive. A damage cap is the maximum limit of compensation that can be paid for your injuries, specifically, your pain and suffering, after you are injured as a result of medical malpractice. Learn more about the caps you can expect when you work with a malpractice lawyer to file your personal injury lawsuit.
What Is the Cap on Medical Malpractice in Baltimore, Maryland?
In Maryland, there’s a difference between economic and non-economic damage caps. In general, the differences between these caps is whether or not you can put a price tag on the injury sustained. For instance, economic damages can be calculated in an approximate dollar amount, such as the cost of past and future bills or lost wages. Non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering and damage to a marriage as a result of an injury do not easily translate into a dollar amount. A lawyer will be able to explain the estimated amount you can expect to be awarded for non-economic damages since certain injuries may be worth more depending on the degree of harm and future complications.
In Maryland, there is no cap on economic damages. This is because the state of Maryland acknowledges that medical malpractice claims generate a high financial cost, particularly in medical bills that need to be paid for past and future treatments. The economic damages you can sue for include the loss of past and current wages, the loss of future earning ability, and other financial distress you may experience as a result of past and ongoing medical issues.
On the other hand, Maryland does have a cap for non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering and loss of constortium. These are the damages that cannot be calculated in dollar amounts, as opposed to bills, lost earnings, furture medical expenses. The current cap in the State of Maryland on these damages is $860,000, however, the yearly estimates of damage caps for non-economic factors increase by $15,000 each year. The damage cap for non-economic damage is calculated based on a variety of factors, most of which include emotional and physical pain, interpersonal relationship distress, and more.
Special Damage Cap for Wrongful Death
In Maryland, there’s also a special damage cap for wrongful death cases. For surviving family members who have lost a loved one due to medical malpractice, the maximum amount of compensation you can receive is $1,075,000 is you have two or more surviving beneficiaries, such as a spouse and a child. You also may be able to receive an award not subject to the damages cap for economic damages, which will represent the replacement cost of the earnings and household contributions made by the decedent. You may also be entitled to recover an award for past medical expenses paid in connection with the decedent’s injuries.
How Are Economic and Non-Economic Damages Calculated?
There are a variety of factors that are used to calculate economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages can easily be calculated based on medical bills associated with treatments to recover from your malpractice injury, the future estimation of medical bills you may need for ongoing treatments, annual salaries, and other financial documents that can generate an accurate estimate of economic damages.
Pain and Suffering Calculations
Pain and suffering calculations, on the other hand, are more complicated since these rely on evaluations from Maryland courts, juries, and judges to assess many factors and individual circumstances. For example, the demographics of the victim, mental and physical anguish, the negative impact the injury caused on the victim’s life, and much more can all be used to calculate pain and suffering damages.
Because pain and suffering are more subjective than economic damages, it can be helpful to hire a lawyer who can gather evidence to support pain and suffering claims. The more evidence you have on your side, the more likely the court is to award you the maximum damages for non-economic damages.
Why Should You Hire a Malpractice Lawyer?
In general, medical malpractice cases are tricky to win because it can be very difficult for victims to prove medical negligence. It requires the expertise of a medical malpractice lawyer to file a successful lawsuit to receive compensation for economic and non-economic damages.
A Maryland malpractice legal expert will understand all the laws and legal precedents related to your malpractice case, such as the statute of limitations, special legal documents you’ll need to file in Baltimore courts, and other procedures associated with malpractice claims.
Determine If You Have a Case
First and foremost, hiring a malpractice lawyer will help you determine if you have a case. There are several categories of medical malpractice that may apply to your claims, such as surgical injuries, medication errors, birth injuries, failure to render aid, and more.
In order to prove your case, a lawyer will have to identify elements of your case that may be associated with medical negligence, such as the failure of a physician to obtain informed consent from a patient before a procedure. There must be enough evidence related to your case for a lawyer to be able to prove your claim in court or arbitration.
Negotiate for Best Settlement Offer
Because the calculations for non-economic damages are subjective, you will need the assistance of a lawyer to negotiate the best possible settlement offer from the medical entity or professional who caused you harm. Part of negotiating a good settlement offer will depend on the amount of evidence you have.
In order to get the maximum amount of economic and non-economic damage compensation, your lawyer will need to collect medical bills, independent medical examinations, proof of loss of employment, and evidence of pain and suffering. Your lawyer will aim to secure the maximum amount of compensation you deserve so that you can recover from your injuries and have financial security in the future.