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Does North Carolina Have a Medical Malpractice Cap?

On Behalf of Christian Ayers
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Medical malpractice occurs whenever a healthcare professional harms their patient through negligence and a failure to meet the patient’s standard of care. If you have been harmed by a healthcare professional’s negligence, a North Carolina medical malpractice attorney is the ideal resource to consult to determine your options for legal recourse. The right attorney can help file your claim and maximize your compensation.

Filing a Medical Malpractice Case

While a medical malpractice claim is a form of personal injury claim, there are special rules that apply to these cases that you must understand if you intend to secure fair compensation for the damages you suffered. You will need to prove that the defendant breached the standard of care you required for your condition and that their negligence directly caused your damages.

As part of the claim filing process, you will need to secure a written statement from a medical professional who holds the same or greater board certifications as the defendant in your claim. This individual must explain how the defendant breached the standard of care in the situation and what they should have done differently. You must also provide the defendant with advance notice of your intent to file suit before actually filing the claim with the court.

Many medical malpractice claims filed are settled outside of court. Whenever a defendant is clearly liable for a plaintiff’s damages, they will generally strive to settle the claim as quickly and as quietly as possible. A good attorney can help streamline the settlement negotiation process, but if settlement is not a viable option for resolving your claim, you can rely on your attorney to represent you in litigation.

Damages in a Medical Malpractice Case

Like any other personal injury claim, the purpose of a medical malpractice claim is to hold a defendant accountable for their negligence and to recover compensation for the damages they caused. While you have the same right to claim full compensation for any economic losses you suffered from medical malpractice, North Carolina’s medical malpractice laws do include a cap on non-economic damages.

Non-economic damages include the intangible harm you suffered because of the defendant’s actions, namely your physical pain and emotional distress. These are subjective damages and difficult for the average person to translate into monetary terms, but if you suffered severe harm from medical malpractice, it could justify seeking a sizeable amount of pain and suffering compensation.

Unfortunately, state medical malpractice law limits the amount a plaintiff can seek for their pain and suffering, even if they suffered permanent harm from the defendant’s actions. The current cap is $656,730, and this cap increases each year to account for inflation. It is also possible for the plaintiff to receive punitive damages, but there is also a limit on how much of this compensation they can receive.

The attorneys at Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler approach every medical malpractice claim we accept with the goal of helping our client recover as much compensation as possible in the shortest possible timeframe. We know that these cases are inherently complex, and the thought of taking legal action against a doctor, hospital, or healthcare organization may be daunting. However, with the right attorney on your side, you can approach your case with confidence.


Q: What Is the Medical Malpractice Cap for 2023?

A: The only cap on damages in a medical malpractice case applies to the non-economic damages awarded to the plaintiff, which account for their pain and suffering. As of 2023, the cap on pain and suffering in medical malpractice claims reached $656,730, and this limit is scheduled to increase in 2024. Each year, the cap increases to account for inflation. Your attorney is your most valuable asset for helping you maximize the compensation you obtain for pain and suffering.

Q: What Is the Cap on Economic Damages in a Medical Malpractice Case?

A: State law does not cap economic damages in a medical malpractice suit. The plaintiff has the right to claim full repayment for all economic losses they suffered because of the defendant’s actions. These economic damages are likely to include additional medical expenses, anticipated future medical treatment costs, lost wages, and lost earning potential if the injury left them disabled.

Q: How Much Is My Medical Malpractice Claim Worth?

A: North Carolina medical malpractice laws allow plaintiffs to claim full compensation for any economic losses associated with the injury they experienced, and they may claim pain and suffering compensation up to the limit enforced by state law. Punitive damages could also come into play at the discretion of the court. Your medical malpractice attorney can estimate your claim’s total potential value.

Q: Is There a Cap on Punitive Damages?

A: Punitive damages are awarded at the discretion of the court when a defendant’s behavior has exceeded the scope of standard negligence or if they have caused harm through illegal misconduct. North Carolina law generally limits punitive damages to no more than 300% of the plaintiff’s total compensatory damages.

Q: Will I Win a Larger Settlement if I Have an Attorney Representing My Case?

A: Hiring experienced legal counsel is the most effective way to increase the total case award you secure from a successful medical malpractice claim. Additionally, these are some of the most complex personal injury claims filed in the state, and an attorney can make your claim filing process much faster and easier. You are more likely to win your case and more likely to maximize your case award with an attorney’s help.

Our Team Understands the Challenges You Face After a Work Injury

The team at Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler has helped many past clients with their medical malpractice claims, and we know the challenges you are likely to face as you seek accountability and compensation for your damages. If you believe you have grounds for a medical malpractice suit in North Carolina, contact our team today to schedule a free consultation and learn how we can assist with your legal efforts.