Medical malpractice caps refer to laws that limit the amount of money that a plaintiff can recover in a medical malpractice lawsuit. These caps typically apply to non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, and are intended to prevent large and potentially excessive jury awards. The exact amount of the cap varies by state and can also be subject to change over time.
Medical Malpractice Caps in Texas
In Texas, like in many other states, there are caps on the amount of money that can be awarded to victims of medical malpractice. These caps limit the amount of damages that can be awarded to patients and their families for injuries or wrongful deaths caused by medical negligence.
The caps on medical malpractice awards in Texas were put in place to address the rising costs of malpractice insurance for healthcare providers. The Texas Medical Liability Act, which was enacted in 2003, limits non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, to $250,000 per healthcare provider or institution, with a maximum of $750,000 for multiple providers or institutions. This means that even if a jury awards a patient more than $250,000 in non-economic damages, the award will be reduced to the cap.
In addition to the cap on non-economic damages, there is also a cap on total damages in medical malpractice cases in Texas. The total damages, which include economic and non-economic damages, are limited to $500,000 per healthcare institution, with a maximum of $1,000,000 for multiple institutions. This means that even if a jury awards a patient more than $500,000 in damages, the award will be reduced to the cap.
These caps only apply to medical malpractice cases in Texas and do not apply to other types of personal injury cases. Additionally, they do not apply to economic damages, such as medical expenses and lost wages, which can still be awarded without limit. Critics of medical malpractice caps argue that they unfairly limit the ability of victims to seek full compensation for their injuries, particularly in cases of severe or catastrophic harm. However, proponents of the caps argue that they are necessary to prevent excessive litigation and to ensure that healthcare providers can continue to provide high-quality care without being burdened by high insurance costs.
If you believe you or a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice in Texas, it is important to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you understand your legal options and navigate the complex legal process.