medical malpractice lawyers in florida
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Are There Caps on Damages?

Some states have enacted laws which put caps or limits on the maximum amounts people can recover in medical malpractice or other injury cases. Other states have no maximum amount. Some of the state laws providing for caps on damages are relatively new and are still being challenged on the grounds they are unconstitutional. Even though there may now be a cap in your state, it may not withstand final court challenge. You will need to check with a lawyer in your state as to what types of damages are recoverable and whether there are any limitations on the amounts.

On the national front, there has repeatedly been proposed legislation to put a nationwide cap of $250,000 for intangible damages in medical malpractice cases. This cap would be very unfair because it would not just cap frivolous cases, which often get thrown out by the courts or overturned on appeal anyway. The cap would mostly impact legitimate cases with severe injuries and it would mean that the most seriously injured victims will only receive partial compensation while the less severely injured may receive full compensation. This cap will also discriminate against children, the elderly, and stay-at-home moms who can not establish the wage losses that others can, so this is all they would get no matter how severe the injury. Most people would agree that for things like blindness, amputations, and the death of a child these caps would be terribly unfair. Many people who generally think a cap is a good idea do not understand that the proposed cap is the “gross” amount that may be recovered, and the actual net to the client after deducting attorneys fees and expenses may actually be much less. Moreover, if $250,000 is the maximum exposure, insurance companies will rarely ever settle even the most meritorious cases. They will offer $100,000 or $150,000 and say: “So sue us!”

Florida has a few separate laws applying caps on intangible damages in medical malpractice cases, depending on the type of case and also depending on who the defendants are (what type of healthcare provider). However the Florida Supreme Court has struck down some of those laws, and there are several more legal challenges under way.

If you believe you or a loved one have been the victim of medical malpractice, please let us know. We are easy to talk to and would like to review your case.