What Are Caps On Medical Malpractice Recoveries?

What Are Caps On Medical Malpractice Recoveries?

Various states have passed laws that put a cap, or limit, on the amounts of compensation a plaintiff can recover in a medical malpractice case. New York currently is not one of these states, so if you pursue a medical malpractice case in Manhattan, there is no limit to the amount of compensation you can seek.

According to the American Medical Association (AMA), nearly 30 states have caps on medical malpractice recoveries that limit damages. Nebraska caps total recoverable damages at $1.75 million, and California limits non-economic damages recoveries to $250,000. Non-economic damages are intangible damages for pain and suffering, loss of quality of life, loss of consortium, etc. By comparison, economic damages are medical costs, lost wages, lost future earnings, rehabilitation expenses and other tangible monetary losses associated with the injury.

Some states that have caps do not apply them in cases of gross malpractice. Certain states also adjust the cap amounts every year based on inflation. In states in which legislatures passed medical malpractice caps, courts have ruled that the laws were unconstitutional. A few states even have constitutions that prohibit caps on damages.

In 2011, in an attempt to reduce New York's Medicaid program expenses as part of a handling for the state budget, Governor Cuomo introduced a proposal to cap medical malpractice recoveries. However, the proposal failed due to opposition from patient care advocates as well asmedical malpractice lawyers in Manhattan and other areas of New York.

Rich & Rich, P.C. can address your concerns about medical malpractice and evaluate the prospects of pursuing legal action during your free consultation. Our attorneys bring extensive legal experience to every case we handle. Call 646.736.3999 to arrange an appointment.

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