Each state has different limits regarding damage awards for medical malpractice claims. The expert opinion of a competent medical malpractice lawyer regarding the applicable limits on damage awards regarding your potential medical malpractice claim should be promptly obtained.
The following listing and information regarding limits on damage awards by state are for general information purposes only. This list is not legal advice and may not be current or accurate at the time you view this page. Many state laws are revised or changed from time to time (including limits on damage awards). Do not rely on the information below with regard to limits on damage awards that may apply to your claim. Seek competent legal advice with regard to limits on damage awards that may apply to your state and/or to your claim. Different limits on damage awards may apply (such as federal limitations involving federal health care providers).
Limitations on Damages
Limits on noneconomic damages (Section 6-5-547) declared unconstitutional by state Supreme Court (see Mobile Infirmary Medical Center v. Hodgen, 884 So.2d (Ala. 2003)).
Noneconomic damages limited to $250,000; limited to $400,000 for wrongful death or injury over 70 percent disabling; limits not applicable to intentional or reckless acts or omissions.
Arizona Constitution Article 2, Section 31: No law shall be enacted in this state limiting the amount of damages to be recovered for causing the death or injury of any person.
Punitive damages award for each plaintiff shall not be more than the greater of the following: (1) $250,000; or (2) Three times the amount of compensatory damages awarded in the action, not to exceed $1 million. Limits adjusted for inflation at three-year intervals. Limits shall not apply when the finder of fact: (1) Determines by clear and convincing evidence that, at the time of the injury, the defendant intentionally pursued a course of conduct for the purpose of causing injury or damage; and (2) Determines that the defendant’s conduct did, in fact, harm the plaintiff.
Section 16-55-205 to Section 16-55-209.
$250,000 limit for noneconomic damages
Civil Code Section 3333.2.
$1 million total limit on all damages; $300,000 noneconomic limitation.
If the jury renders a verdict specifying noneconomic damages in an amount exceeding $1 million, the court shall review the evidence presented to the jury to determine if the amount of noneconomic damages specified in the verdict is excessive as a matter of law in that it so shocks the sense of justice as to compel the conclusion that the jury was influenced by partiality, prejudice, mistake or corruption. If the court so concludes, it shall order a remittitur and, upon failure of the party so ordered to remit the amount ordered by the court, it shall set aside the verdict and order a new trial.
Punitive damages may be awarded only on finding of malicious intent to injure or willful or wanton misconduct. No specified limit.
18 Section 6855.
District of Columbia (D.C.)
No applicable statute.
Noneconomic damages limited to $500,000 per claimant. Noneconomic damages shall not exceed $1 million for cases involving death or permanent vegetative state, or 1) a manifest injustice would occur unless increased noneconomic damages are awarded, based on a finding that because of the special circumstances of the case, the noneconomic harm sustained by the injured patient was particularly severe; and 2) The trier of fact determines that the defendant’s negligence caused a catastrophic injury to the patient. Noneconomic damages limited to $150,000 per claimant for cases arising from medical negligence of practitioners providing emergency services and care, the total noneconomic damages recoverable by all claimants from all such practitioners shall not exceed $300,000.
Limits on noneconomic damages (Section 51-13-1) declared unconstitutional by state Supreme Court (see Atlanta Oculoplastic Surgery, P.C. v. Nestlehutt et al., (Ga. March 22, 2010)).
Noneconomic damages recoverable for pain and suffering shall be limited to a maximum award of $375,000.
$250,000 limit on noneconomic damages, adjusted annually according to state’s average annual wage.
Punitive damages not recoverable in medical malpractice cases.
735 Section 5/2-1115.
The total amount recoverable may not exceed $500,000. A health care provider is not liable for an amount in excess of $250,000 for an occurrence of malpractice.
In an action for damages the damages awarded shall not include actual economic losses incurred or to be incurred in the future by the claimant by reason of the personal injury, including but not limited to, the cost of reasonable and necessary medical care, rehabilitation services, and custodial care, and the loss of services and loss of earned income, to the extent that those losses are replaced or are indemnified by insurance, or by governmental, employment, or service benefit programs or from any other source except the assets of the claimant or of the members of the claimant’s immediate family.
$250,000 limit on noneconomic damages for personal injury recoverable by each party from all defendants.
Kentucky Constitution Section 54: The General Assembly shall have no power to limit the amount to be recovered for injuries resulting in death, or for injuries to person or property.
$500,000 limit for total recovery. Health care provider liability limited to $100,000. Any award in excess of all liable providers paid from Patient’s Compensation Fund.
RS Section 40:1299.42.
No applicable statute.
Noneconomic damages for a cause of action arising between January 1, 2005, and December 31, 2008, inclusive, may not exceed $650,000. The limitation on noneconomic damages shall increase by $15,000 on January 1 of each year beginning January 1, 2009. The increased amount shall apply to causes of action arising between January 1 and December 31 of that year, inclusive. In a wrongful death action, where there are two or more claimants or beneficiaries, the noneconomic damages for all actions may not exceed 125 percent of the above limitation.
Courts & Judicial Proceedings Article Section -2A-09(A).
$500,000 limit for pain and suffering, loss of companionship, embarrassment and other items of general damages unless there is a determination that there is a substantial or permanent loss or impairment of a bodily function or substantial disfigurement, or other special circumstances. Except as provided, if two or more plaintiffs have received verdicts or findings of such damages in a total amount, for all plaintiffs claiming damages from a single occurrence, transaction, act of malpractice, or injury which exceeds $500,000, the amount of such damages recoverable by each plaintiff will be reduced to a percentage of $500,000 proportionate to that plaintiff’s share of the total amount of such damages for all plaintiffs.
Ch. 231 Section 60H.
$280,000 limit on noneconomic damages; $500,000 limit on noneconomic damages if (a) The plaintiff is hemiplegic, paraplegic, or quadriplegic resulting in a total permanent functional loss of one or more limbs caused by one or more of the following: (i) Injury to the brain. (ii) Injury to the spinal cord. (b) The plaintiff has permanently impaired cognitive capacity rendering him or her incapable of making independent, responsible life decisions and permanently incapable of independently performing the activities of normal, daily living. (c) There has been permanent loss of or damage to a reproductive organ resulting in the inability to procreate. The limitation is adjusted annually by state treasurer according to consumer price index.
Punitive damages shall be allowed in civil actions only upon clear and convincing evidence that the acts of the defendant show deliberate disregard for the rights or safety of others. The court shall specifically review the punitive damages award and shall make specific findings. The appellate court, if any, also shall review the award. Nothing in this section may be construed to restrict either court’s authority to limit punitive damages.
$500,000 limit on noneconomic damages.
Noneconomic damages limited to $350,000 regardless of number of defendants.
$250,000 limit on past and future damages for noneconomic loss.
Total damages limited to $1,750,000. Health care provider liability limited to $500,000. Any excess of total liability of all health care providers paid from Excess Liability Fund.
$350,000 limit on noneconomic damages.
Limits on noneconomic damages (Section 507-C:7) declared unconstitutional by state Supreme Court (see Carson v. Maurer, 120 N.H. 925, 424 A.2d 825 (1980) and Brannigan v. Usitalso, 134 N.H. 50, 587 A.2d 1232 (1991)).
No defendant shall be liable for punitive damages in any action in an amount in excess of five times the liability of that defendant for compensatory damages or $350,000, whichever is greater.
$600,000 total limit on all damages. The value of accrued medical care and related benefits shall not be subject to the $600,000 limitation. Monetary damages shall not be awarded for future medical expenses in malpractice claims. A health care provider’s personal liability is limited to $200,000 for monetary damages and medical care and related benefits as provided in Section 41-5-7 NMSA 1978. Any amount due from a judgment or settlement in excess of $200,000 shall be paid from the patient’s compensation fund.
No applicable statute.
Punitive damages shall not exceed three times the amount of compensatory damages or $250,000, whichever is greater.
$500,000 limit on noneconomic damages.
Punitive and exemplary damages limited to twice the amount of compensatory damages. If the defendant is a small employer or individual, the court shall not enter judgment for punitive or exemplary damages in excess of the lesser of two times the amount of the compensatory damages awarded to the plaintiff from the defendant or 10 percent of the employer’s or individual’s net worth when the tort was committed up to a maximum of $350,000.
Where the jury finds by clear and convincing evidence that: The defendant has been guilty of reckless disregard for the rights of others; the jury, may award punitive damages in an amount not to exceed the greater of: a. $100,000, or b. the amount of the actual damages awarded. Where the jury finds by clear and convincing evidence that: The defendant has acted intentionally and with malice towards others; the jury may award punitive damages in an amount not to exceed the greatest of: a. $500,000, b. twice the amount of actual damages awarded, or c. the increased financial benefit derived by the defendant as a direct result of the conduct causing the injury to the plaintiff and other persons or entities. Where the jury finds by clear and convincing evidence that: The defendant has acted intentionally and with malice towards others; and the court finds that there is evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant acted intentionally and with malice and engaged in conduct life-threatening to humans, the jury, may award punitive damages in any amount the jury deems appropriate, without regard to the limitations set forth above.
23 Section 9.1.
Limits on noneconomic damages (Section 31.710) declared unconstitutional by State Supreme Court (see Lakin v. Senco Products, Inc., 329 Or. 62, 987 P.2d 463 (Or. 1999)).
No limitations. Pennsylvania Constitution Article 3, Section 18: The General Assembly may enact laws requiring the payment by employers, or employers and employees jointly, of reasonable compensation for injuries to employees arising in the course of their employment, and for occupational diseases of employees, whether or not such injuries or diseases result in death, and regardless of fault of employer or employee, and fixing the basis of ascertainment of such compensation and the maximum and minimum limits thereof, and providing special or general remedies for the collection thereof; but in no other cases shall the General Assembly limit the amount to be recovered for injuries resulting in death, or for injuries to persons or property, and in case of death from such injuries, the right of action shall survive, and the General Assembly shall prescribe for whose benefit such actions shall be prosecuted.
40 Section 1303.505.
No applicable statute.
Noneconomic damages limited to $350,000 against single health care provider or facility. In actions against more than one facility, provider or combination, the limit of civil liability for noneconomic damages for each health care institution and each health care provider is limited to an amount not to exceed $350,000 for each claimant, and the limit of civil liability for noneconomic damages for all health care institutions and health care providers is limited to an amount not to exceed $1,050,000 for each claimant. Limits increased or decreased annually based on Consumer Price Index. No limits on noneconomic or punitive damages if defendant is grossly negligent, wilful, wanton, or reckless, and such conduct was the proximate cause of the claimant’s noneconomic damages, or if the defendant has engaged in fraud or misrepresentation related to the claim, or if the defendant altered or destroyed medical records with the purpose of avoiding a claim or liability to the claimant.
The total general damages which may be awarded may not exceed the sum of $500,000. No limitation on the amount of special damages which may be awarded.
No applicable statute.
$250,000 limit per claimant for noneconomic damages against physician or provider. §250,000 limit per claimant against single institution. For claims against multiple institutions, the limit of civil liability for noneconomic damages for each health care institution, inclusive of all persons and entities for which vicarious liability theories may apply, shall be limited to an amount not to exceed $250,000 for each claimant and the limit of civil liability for noneconomic damages for all health care institutions, inclusive of all persons and entities for which vicarious liability theories may apply, shall be limited to an amount not to exceed $500,000 for each claimant.
Civil Practice & Remedies Section 74.301.
For a cause of action arising on or after July 1, 2002, and before May 15, 2010 the $400,000 limitation described in Subsection (1)(b) shall be adjusted for inflation as provided in Subsection (2); and for a cause of action arising on or after May 15, 2010, $450,000.
No applicable statute.
$1.5 million limit on recovery damages. Increased by $50,000 each year from 2001 to 2006. Increased by $75,000 each year in 2007 and 2008. The July 1, 2008, increase shall be the final annual increase.
Limits on noneconomic damages (Section 4.56.250) declared unconstitutional by State Supreme Court (see Sofie v. Fireboard Corp., 112 Wash. 2d 636, 771 P.2d 711 (1989)).
$250,000 limit for noneconomic damages per occurrence. Plaintiff may recover compensatory damages for noneconomic loss in excess of the limitation above, but not in excess of $500,000 for each occurrence, where the damages for noneconomic losses suffered by the plaintiff were for: (1) Wrongful death; (2) permanent and substantial physical deformity, loss of use of a limb or loss of a bodily organ system; or (3) permanent physical or mental functional injury that permanently prevents the injured person from being able to independently care for himself or herself and perform life sustaining activities. Limits are adjusted annually for inflation by the Consumer Price Index.
Limits on noneconomic damages (Section 893.55) declared unconstitutional by State Supreme Court (see Ferdon ex rel. Petrucelli v. Wisconsin Patients Compensation Fund, 701 N.W.2d 440 (2005)).
Wyoming Constitution Article 10, 4: (a) No law shall be enacted limiting the amount of damages to be recovered for causing the injury or death of any person. (b) Any section of this constitution to the contrary notwithstanding, for any civil action where a person alleges that a health care provider’s act or omission in the provision of health care resulted in death or injury, the legislature may by general law: (i) Mandate alternative dispute resolution or review by a medical review panel before the filing of a civil action against the health care provider.