Did you know that there’s a limit on the amount of money a person can receive for pain and suffering in a personal injury lawsuit? In Maryland, this limit is currently $830,000.
$830,000. This is an arbitrary amount of money to apply to the vast, life-altering consequences of a serious accident or injury, and that’s because it’s impossible to put a price on the true cost of the trauma a victim will experience now and through the rest of his or her life.
As personal injury attorneys, however, that’s what we must do. We must try to get the at-fault party to pay for what was done. We must try to help the victim and his or her family rebuild. For cases involving car accidents, semi-truck collisions, and the like, we need to look at every detail to see how we can secure the type of settlement or award that will create the most stable future for the victim. That’s why our experience and resources at Gracia & Mintz are so important. We know how to build strong cases that help our clients seek justice, accountability, and fair compensation.
From $2.5 Million to $830,000 in Non-Economic Damages
Most states enforce a statutory cap, or limit, on the amount of money that can be awarded in personal injury, wrongful death, and medical malpractice lawsuits. These limits typically do not apply to medical expenses, lost earnings, and other economic damages but rather to non-economic damages, including “pain, suffering, inconvenience, physical impairment, disfigurement, loss of consortium, or other non-pecuniary injury,” according to Maryland Code § 11-108.
Earlier this year, a Maryland Court of Special Appeals rejected a challenge to the constitutionality of the state’s limit on non-economic damages for personal injury claims and upheld a trial court’s decision to reduce a $2.5 million award for pain and suffering down to $830,000.
The case, Crouell v. Turner, involved an incident where the plaintiff (injured party) was seriously injured when a commercial truck crossed a median and struck her vehicle. The jury awarded the plaintiff over $300,000 for medical expenses, $3,000,000 for punitive damages, and $2,500,000 for non-economic damages. The court reduced the non-economic damages to $830,000 based on the state’s statutory cap.
A History of Maryland’s Statutory Cap
A $350,000 limit on non-economic damages for personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits was first enacted in Maryland back in 1986. It was raised to $500,000 in 1994 and has increased by $15,000 every year since. As of the Crouell v. Turner verdict, the cap was at $830,000.
Seeking Life-Changing Results
When a person is seriously injured, these injuries extend far beyond the physical and financial. They may influence every single aspect of a victim’s life, causing a level of pain, suffering, and despair that one cannot assign a dollar amount to.
There may be a cap on non-economic damages in Maryland, but we at Gracia & Mintz are always fighting to help our clients get the help they need to face brighter futures. Whether we are protecting our clients’ freedom in criminal court or are seeking civil justice for the seriously injured, our lawyers never back down and take their time to seek the best outcome every single time.
To find out how we can help you, call (301) 842-8584 or visit our website dedicated to personal injury matters. We serve Prince George County and all of Maryland.