A New Threat to Medical Malpractice Compensation Comes from Congress

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At the end of June, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that would place a cap on medical malpractice damages across the country. Right now, these limits are governed by state law. This federal bill would create a national limit of $250,000 on non-economic damages in medical malpractice claims. This means victims of medical malpractice would only be entitled to $250,000 in compensation for noneconomic damages.

Noneconomic damages refer to compensation paid for pain and suffering, emotional distress, and other intangible losses that aren’t defined by a specific dollar amount. Economic damages, on the other hand, are specific financial losses, such as lost wages, medical expenses, and property damage.

Opponents of the bill said that this severely limits states’ rights. It also will unfairly limit the amount of compensation medical malpractice victims—and their families—could receive. The new law would apply to all forms of medical malpractice cases—everything from misdiagnosis to improperly performed procedures. The bill passed the House by a narrow margin but will not become a law unless it passes in the Senate.

Medical malpractice caps in Maryland and Washington D.C.

If the new bill becomes law, it could severely impact medical malpractice victims in Maryland and Washington D.C. As of 2017, Washington D.C. has no statutory caps regarding any damages in a medical malpractice case, whether economic or noneconomic. In Maryland, the noneconomic cap is $785,000 and $981,250 in wrongful death cases involving two or more surviving family members. The cap is set to increase by $15,000 each year.

Experienced medical malpractice attorneys in Maryland and Washington D.C.

Schochor, Federico and Staton, P.A. is an award-winning medical malpractice law firm with more than three decades in business. Our lawyers help victims like you obtain full and fair compensation for your injuries. Our hard-working, knowledgeable team is ready to help. Call us today at 410-234-1000 or complete a contact form to schedule a consultation in either our Baltimore, MD or Washington D.C. office.