Maximum Recovery in Maryland For Wrongful Death Caused By Medical Malpractice (Excluding Economic Damages)

For reasons that our lawyers and all of our clients do not agree with, if a loved one dies in Maryland as a result of medical malpractice, the maximum cap on non–economic damages is significantly lower than the maximum cap if that same person were to die as the result of a negligent automobile user or negligence while on the job. As many of you may know, the enactment of these "caps" on non-economic damages were the result of what is known as a "tort reform" movement that swept across this country in the early 2000s.  In Maryland, "tort reform" became a hot button topic as well.  In 2005, the Maryland legislature passed a bill in 2005 that put into place this reduced cap on non-economic damages.  As lawyers who routinely see first hand the emotional trauma, pain and suffering that our clients experience as the result of medical malpractice, we strongly believe that these caps unfairly penalize victims of medical negligence who, through no fault of their own, have had their lives irrevocably changed as a result of someone's else's negligence. 

For medical malpractice claims arising after January 1, 2010 in Maryland, if there is only one wrongful death beneficiary, the maximum non–economic recovery for that medical negligence is $680,000. If there are 2 or more wrongful death beneficiaries, the maximum non–economic recovery is $850,000. For claims arising after January 1, 2011, if there is only one wrongful death beneficiary, the maximum non-economic recovery for that medical negligence is $695,000.  If there are 2 or more wrongful death beneficiaries, the maximum non-economic recovery is $868,750.  For claims arising after January 1, 2012, if there is only one wrongful death beneficiary, the maximum non-economic recovery for that medical negligence is $710,000.  If there are 2 or more wrongful death beneficiaries, the maximum non-economic recovery is $887,500.  For claims arising after January 1, 2013, if there is only one wrongful death beneficiary, the maximum non-economic recovery for that medical negligence is $725,000.  If there are 2 or more wrongful death beneficiaries, the maximum non-economic recovery is $906,250. 

In contrast, for non-medical malpractice claims involving the death of an individual that occurred after January 1, 2013, if there are 2 or more wrongful death beneficiaries, the maximum recovery is $1,962,500, more than a million dollars more than a medical malpractice victim could ever recover for his/her pain and suffering.  There is simply no reason for such a disparity.  Not surprisingly, our lawyers are involved in attempting to repeal these unfair caps and speak regularly with politicians who seek to further restrict medical malpractice victims' rights to receive compensation for their injuries. 

It should be pointed out that while a majority of states in the United States have some sort of cap on the non-economic damages that can be recovered by medical malpractice victims, Maryland's caps are not among the lowest the country.  In fact, some states have caps as low as $250,000 on non-economic damages.  

If you or a loved one have been the victim of medical negligence, call our offices at 410-385-9104 for a free consultation.