Though known the country over for its independence, Texas has a few things in common with a majority of U.S. states: It has a cap on medical malpractice damages. As a result of this controversial law, the statute limits the actual amount of damages the plaintiff can receive even after they have proved that the defendant committed malpractice – and a jury has reached the same decision. For more information on the Lonestar State’s caps on damages, please continue reading, then contact an experienced Harris County, Texas medical malpractice lawyer today.
How does Texas cap damages in medical malpractice cases?
Fortunately, the Lonestar State’s caps apply only to non-economic damages. With that in mind, here are some keys highlights:
- In medical malpractice cases against a physician, health care provider or single health care institution, the per-claimant cap is $250,000 on non-economic damages.
- For cases against multiple health care institutions, the overall cap is $500,00 in non-economic damages per claimant, and no single institution has to pay for more than $250,000 in non-economic damages per claimant.
What does Texas consider non-economic damages?
Courts award non-economic damages to compensate the plaintiff for abstract losses that stem from their injury, including:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental pain
- Emotional anguish
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of companionship and society
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Injury to the plaintiff’s reputation
How do you receive non-economic damages in Texas?
The burden of proof for non-economic damages is much the same as that for economic damages, which is as follows:
- The defendant(s) owed you a duty of reasonable care
- The defendant(s) failed to exercise a reasonable care
- The failure to exercise reasonable care caused your injuries
- You sustained financial damages as a result of your injuries
Does Texas cap economic or punitive damages?
As a matter of fact, at present reporting, the Lonestar State does not cap economic damages, which the jury can award to cover the following:
- Payment for past and future medical care
- Reimbursement of lost income
- Compensation for lost earning capacity, and
- Other financial losses attributed to the malpractice on which you based your lawsuit
In addition, the jury may award the plaintiff punitive damages. Intended to punish the defendant for actions that involved fraud, malice or gross negligence, punitive damages are capped at the greater of $200,000 or two times the amount of economic damages plus the amount equal to non-economic damages up to $750,000. Furthermore, if the act of medical malpractice constituted a felony, the cap does not apply.
Speak with a skilled member of our firm if you have any further questions.
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If you or a loved one suffered from medical malpractice, contact the law firm of Davis & Davis today for a free consultation.