Most hospitals, clinics, and healthcare workers in Maryland help their patients by providing quality medical care. There are times, though, when doctors and other healthcare providers make mistakes and do not fulfill the duty they have to properly care for their patients. When this is the case, patients can suffer physically, emotionally, and financially.
Medical malpractice victims can file a lawsuit against the offending healthcare provider to claim compensation for their injuries and related losses. Although there is no cap on economic damages, such as payment for medical bills or lost income, Maryland has placed a cap on the non-economic damages available in these lawsuits. The cap changes each year. For example:
- For lawsuits filed in 2017, the cap on non-economic damages was $785,000.
- In 2018, the damages were capped at $800,000.
- In 2019, the cap was $815,000.
- In 2020, the cap sits at $830,000.
In cases involving wrongful death filed by two or more surviving family members, the cap on non-economic damages is $1,037,500 for 2020. This cap also increases each year.
If you have suffered losses due to a medical error, contact The Law Offices of Dr. Michael M. Wilson, MD, JD & Associates today to discuss the full amount of damages you deserve.
What Are the Different Types of Damages in Malpractice Claims?
Damages claimed in a lawsuit are intended to repay the patient for the losses they suffered as a result of medical malpractice. In Maryland, as in other states, there are two main types of damages. These are economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are those that have an exact dollar value and can be clearly calculated. Economic damages include medical costs such as hospital bills, ambulance costs, in-home care expenses, and the cost of any medical accessories. Lost wages are another form of economic damages. In addition to claiming the income lost due to recovery time for the injury, individuals can also claim a loss of earning capacity when they cannot return to the same line of work.
Non-economic damages are intangible losses that are not as easily calculated. The pain and suffering a person has endured due to his or her injury and loss of enjoyment of life are two types of non-economic damages. Although these types of damages do not have a quantifiable value, the courts still recognize them as losses that malpractice victims deserve to be compensated for. However, Maryland does place a cap on these types of damages.
How Do You Prove Damages in a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?
To claim damages in a medical malpractice lawsuit, you must prove that you actually suffered those losses. Economic damages are more straightforward to prove than non-economic damages. Medical bills, pay stubs showing past income, physical therapy bills, and invoices for services such as household cleaning can all help prove economic damages. Proof for non-economic damages can include your own testimony, as well as testimony from family members who can speak to the impact the injuries have had on your life.
Furthermore, your attorney may work with medical experts, life care planners, economists, and other professionals to determine how your injuries will affect you in the future. Determining past, current, and future losses is essential to demanding fair compensation in your case.
How Does Maryland Cap Medical Malpractice Damages?
Maryland does place a cap on non-economic medical malpractice damages. The cap increases $15,000 every year, in order to accurately reflect inflation. Lawsuits filed in 2020 have a cap of $830,000 in non-economic damages. When medical malpractice results in a wrongful death with two or more beneficiaries, the limit is raised to 125 percent of the current non-economic damages cap. In 2020, that is $1,037,500.
It is important to understand that Maryland only places caps on non-economic damages in medical malpractice claims. This means that economic damages, or those damages that have an actual dollar value, do not have any caps placed on them. You can claim the full amount of medical bills and any other loss that has a quantifiable value in your claim.
How Can a Lawyer Help You Seek Medical Malpractice Damages?
Although the law in Maryland allows patients to file a claim for compensation when they have been harmed by medical negligence, these cases are extremely complex and require a vast amount of both medical and legal knowledge.
At The Law Offices of Dr. Michael M. Wilson, MD, JD & Associates, we are exclusively focused on medical malpractice cases. Our principal attorney, Dr. Michael Wilson, is both a lawyer and a physician, having earned legal and medical degrees from Georgetown University. He has more than 30 years of legal experience and has secured more than $100 million for injured patients and their families.
Our respected law firm has developed a large network of medical professionals that we can reach out to for consultations on your case. Our team will also gather other necessary evidence such as medical bills and reports, any other receipts or invoices you have incurred as a result of the malpractice, and other documentation that can prove the full extent of your damages.
Get Help from a Maryland Medical Malpractice Lawyer Today
If you have been injured by a healthcare professional, you should learn about your legal options for filing a medical malpractice claim to pursue the damages you have suffered. However, you should not try to handle such a complex case on your own. Let our respected medical malpractice lawyer in Maryland help you understand your rights.
At The Law Offices of Dr. Michael M. Wilson, MD, JD & Associates, we know the care that medical professionals are expected to provide and we know how to hold them accountable when they fail to do so. When you have been injured, we want to help you demand the full and fair compensation you need. Contact us today to arrange a free case consultation with our knowledgeable medical malpractice attorney.
Dr. Michael M. Wilson is an attorney and a physician who earned his undergraduate degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his legal and medical degrees from Georgetown University. He has focused in the area of medical malpractice for more than three decades and secured more than $100 million in settlements and verdicts on behalf of clients throughout the country. He is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia and New York as well as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and the U.S. Supreme Court. He is listed in America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators.