Medical Malpractice Damages Cap Unfair to Many Birth Injury Victims Outside Maryland
When the medical negligence of a doctor, nurse, or hospital causes serious injury to a patient, that patient is entitled to bring a medical malpractice lawsuit against the alleged offender. However, in South Carolina it isn’t that easy, due to a cap on the non-economic damages in all medical malpractice suits.
A recent article by a local news source recounts the tragic story of a woman whose fetus died before birth. When she went to the hospital to have the deceased fetus removed from her body–an already traumatic experience–the operating physician perforated her uterus, nearly causing her to bleed to death. As a result, the woman will not be able to have any more children.
The woman wanted justice after her injury. However, due to the cap on non-economic
damages in the state at the time, she was hard pressed to find an attorney
who would bring her case. In other words, the non-economic damages cap
limits the up-side potential for accident victims and lawyers alike. And
with the ever-increasing cost of filing and bringing a lawsuit, it isn’t
worth it for some attorneys. Therefore, in states with low non-economic
damages caps, all but the victims of the most serious accidents may find
it difficult to find an attorney willing to accept their case.
Non-Economic Damages in Maryland Birth Injury Cases
Caps on damages are unfair to the victims of medical malpractice, including those injured during a birthing procedure. Thankfully, however, Maryland has a somewhat liberal policy when it comes to non-economic damages. The exact method of calculating the cap is complex, and it changes each year, but for 2015 the total cap for a wrongful death action is $943,750. In cases where there is only serious injury and no death, the limit is $755,000.
Of course, this figure does not act to limit economic damages that can be recovered in a medical malpractice action. For instance, past and future medical expenses related to the accident are considered economic damages, and they are not limited by statute. Similarly, damages for lost wages and decreased future earning are also considered economic damages. The main non-economic damages are those related to pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and loss of companionship.
Have You Been Injured in a Maryland Birth Injury Incident?
If you or a loved one has recently been injured in any kind of Maryland birth injury incident, you may be entitled to monetary damages based on the negligence of the medical professional attending to you during this time. However, keep in mind that the road to recovery is often difficult and requires specific knowledge. Having a dedicated Maryland birth injury attorney by your side can prove to be incredibly helpful. To learn more about Maryland birth injury cases, and to schedule a free consultation with a knowledgeable birth injury attorney, call (410) 567-0800 today to set up a free initial consultation.