Are There Damage Caps for Medical Malpractice Claims in New York?

If you file a medical malpractice lawsuit in New York, there is no statutory limit on how much you can recover in damages. Some states impose medical malpractice damage caps, but New York isn’t one of these; instead, it allows medical malpractice victims the opportunity to pursue unlimited economic and non-economic damages.

Economic Damages in Medical Malpractice

Generally, economic damages refer to the “cost” of an injury. How much did a patient spend only to receive botched medical care? How much did they spend to seek a proper diagnosis? How much did they spend on treatment to correct a medical error?

All of these expenses add up, and part of the purpose of a medical malpractice lawsuit is to compensate the injured party for these expenses. That’s why you may have seen economic damages referred to as “compensatory damages” before.

Also, economic damages in a medical malpractice lawsuit aren’t limited to medical care expenses. Any expenses someone makes as a direct result of their medical error injury may be taken into account, right down to the fee for the hospital’s parking lot.

Non-Economic Damages in Medical Malpractice

Whereas economic damages are things that have a somewhat easily discerned value, non-economic damages are awarded to more intangible and subjective experiences. In states that cap damages, the caps are typically on certain kinds of non-economic damages or this entire class of damages.

Examples of non-economic damages include the following:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of society and companionship
  • Loss of consortium

When juries award non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases, it signals a validation of the harm that a medical error caused the plaintiff. Although no one can really put a price on things like pain or the loss of enjoyment in life, juries may do so when they believe a plaintiff needlessly suffered due to a medical professional’s negligence.

Because New York imposes no damage caps for medical malpractice cases, juries are free to award any amount they deem appropriate for non-economic damages. It’s even possible for these awards to exceed the amounts awarded for economic damages.

What Can I Recover Through a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?

If you are curious about what you may be able to recover by filing a medical malpractice claim, you can consult with our attorney at the Law Office of David Kates. By allowing us to investigate your claim, we can help you assess a potential recovery for your medical malpractice injury and pursue it with legal action.

To get started today, reach out to us online and request a free initial consultation.