Damage Caps in Personal Injury & Medical Malpractice Cases
When people are injured and start considering filing a lawsuit, one common thing they want to know is how much their case is worth. The amount of damages you can recover in a personal injury lawsuit depends on many different factors, so that’s a question that doesn’t come with a simple, clear-cut answer. If you consult with a personal injury lawyer, they will be able to help you figure out what damages you’re entitled to. But another common question people have is if there are any limits on the damages they can collect.
As we talk about damages in personal injury cases, it’s very important to understand that there are two broad types of damages: economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages refer to damages that involve a specific dollar amount. This can include things like medical expenses, lost income, and making modifications to a home to accommodate an injury. Non-economic damages include other types of damages that can be more subjective, such as pain and suffering, lost enjoyment of life, and loss of companionship.
Damage caps on personal injury and medical malpractice cases can vary from state to state. No state has limitations on economic damages in personal injury lawsuits, so if you have extremely high economic damages, don’t worry that caps will prevent you from recovering all of those damages. However, there may be damage caps on non-economic damages. In the state of Michigan, caps on non-economic damages in medical malpractice and product liability lawsuits that depend on how the plaintiff was impacted by their injuries. As of 2019, both types of cases have non-economic damage caps at $465,900 for many cases, but that limit can be increased to $832,000 in more severe cases.
To be eligible for the higher damage cap, one of the following conditions needs to apply to a case:
The injury resulted in hemiplegia, paraplegia, or quadriplegia, resulting in the total permanent loss of one or more limbs due to injury to the brain or to the spinal cord.
The injury caused permanent cognitive impairment, rendering him/her incapable of making independent, responsible life decisions and permanently incapable of independently performing the activities of normal, daily living.
The injury caused permanent damage to reproductive organs, leaving the victim unable to have children.
If you’ve been injured in an accident of any kind, don’t hesitate to contact a personal injury lawyer with any questions you might have about your case. Regardless of what kind of accident caused your injuries, dealing with the aftermath of an accident can be very overwhelming and a lawyer will be able to help you understand things like what your legal options are and which types of damages you’d be entitled to collect. At Goodwin & Scieszka, our Michigan personal injury lawyers are experienced in handling many different types of cases, including car crashes, workplace accidents, medical malpractice, and defective product injuries. Contact us today for help with your case.