Baltimore Malpractice Lawyers: What Are the Differences Between Economic and Noneconomic Damages?October 1, 2014
In the context of any type of personal injury lawsuit, including a medical malpractice lawsuit, there are two types of damages that can be awarded: economic and noneconomic. If you are considering filing a medical malpractice suit, it’s important to understand the difference between these two types of compensation and the caps that are placed on them.
Both of these types of damages can be cause for compensation for the victim of medical malpractice, but they apply to slightly different circumstances. Economic damages relate to the financial costs of a plaintiff’s trauma, such as past and future medical bills resulting from the injury, past and future rehabilitation expenses, and past and future wage loss.
Noneconomic damages, on the other hand, are designed to compensate for less tangible losses related to the patient’s injury. The most common type of noneconomic damage is pain and suffering, though others include permanent impairment, disfigurement and reduced enjoyment of life. These damages are more difficult to identify and put a price on. In addition, many states have placed a cap on noneconomic damages in medical malpractice lawsuits. In Maryland, the current cap for noneconomic damages stands at over 750,000, though recent legislation requires the limit to be raised by $15,000 each year. There is no cap on economic damages.
If you are a recent victim of medical malpractice, you may able to recover both economic and noneconomic damages with the help of an Maryland malpractice lawyer serving the Baltimore area at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton, P.A..