Is There A Limit On How Much A Person Can Recover For A Malpractice Claim?

Posted September 27th, 2022 by .

Categories: Personal Injury.

When you seek medical care, you have a fair expectation that you will receive high-quality care. Sadly, that does not always occur. In fact, a study cited by Johns Hopkins Medicine found that medical mistakes are the third leading cause of death in the United States. If a medical error is malpractice, you can hold a doctor, hospital, or another provider legally liable for your damages. 

This raises an important question: Is there a cap on the amount of compensation you can recover in a medical malpractice lawsuit? In New Jersey, that answer is generally “no”—though there is an exception for punitive damages. In this article, our Jersey City medical malpractice attorney explains the key things to know about recovery limits—and lack thereof—in New Jersey. 

New Jersey Does Not Cap Compensatory Damages in Medical Malpractice Claims

Medical malpractice claims are largely handled at the state level. Many jurisdictions put statutory limits (caps) on the damages that can be recovered in a medical malpractice claim. More specifically, a number of U.S. states have limitations on the amount of non-economic damages that can be recovered. New Jersey is not one of these states. There are no statutory limits on the amount that can be recovered in a medical malpractice lawsuit.  Here is what this means: 

  • Economic damages are not capped in medical malpractice claims: You can claim compensation for the full extent of your economic damages, including medical bills, lost wages, and diminished earning potential.  
  • Non-economic damages are not capped in medical malpractice claims. You can claim compensation for the full extent of your non-economic damages, including pain and suffering, mental distress, permanent scarring/disfigurement, and long-term disability. 

The Exception: New Jersey Caps Punitive Damages in all Personal Injury Claims

Although New Jersey does not have any statutory caps for compensatory damages in medical malpractice claims, the state does have a more general limit on punitive damages. Punitive damages are effectively a form of “penalty” compensation that can be awarded in cases where defendants engaged in an especially egregious manner. 

Punitive damages are not awarded at all in most medical malpractice claims. However, it is possible for punitive compensation to be granted in a limited number of medical negligence cases. Under New Jersey law (N.J.S.A. 2A:15-5.14(c)), punitive damages are capped at five times the value of the compensatory damages or $350,000, whichever number is greater. 

Schedule a Free Consultation With a New Jersey Medical Malpractice Attorney

At The Law Offices of Anthony Carbone, our New Jersey medical malpractice lawyer is a skilled and relentless advocate for victims and families. If you or your loved one suffered harm due to medical negligence, we are ready to get started on your claim. Call us now or send us a direct message to set up your no-cost, no-commitment case review. From our Jersey City law office, we provide medical malpractice representation in Hudson County and throughout all of North Jersey.

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