In response to rising medical insurance premiums, many states passed medical malpractice “caps.” You are still entitled to compensatory damages for your injuries, however, what you can recover and for what is capped. The largest share of these damages was for pain and suffering and is the first place most states limited malpractice liability. This post will go over these damages caps.

So far, 33 states have statutory caps on compensation. Healthcare providers, insurers, doctors, and other advocacy groups argued that excessive malpractice claims led to increased premiums for doctors which are passed onto patients. Opponents argued, however, that these caps only shield defendants from liability and fail to discourage bad behavior.

Most states passed caps on pain and suffering. Pain and suffering are compensation for the pain that you go through due to your injuries. The cap varies from state to state, for example, California has a $250,000 cap on pain and suffering while Oregon’s cap is $500,000.

But you can still recover damages for your actual harm. Actual harm is the expenses due to your injuries. For instance, medical care, physical therapy, and lost wages. Essentially, anything you can measure with a receipt or pay stub.

As you can see, medical malpractice doesn’t allow you to recover everything you may deserve. In fact, most medical malpractice cases are capped unless you suffer a catastrophic injury. If you believe you were the victim of hospital negligence, you may want to speak with a lawyer. An attorney can go over your situation and advise you on the best strategy to recover compensation for your injuries.