Does Texas place a cap on medical malpractice damages?
Yes. Like the majority of
U.S. states, Texas has passed a law that limits or “caps” the amount of compensation
a plaintiff can receive in a medical
malpractice case. The controversial effect of laws like this is that, even
after a plaintiff proves that the defendant committed malpractice -- and a jury
makes the same finding -- the statute limits the actual amount of damages the
plaintiff can be awarded.
Also like most states, Texas’s
caps apply only to non-economic damages. Here are the highlights of the law (you
can find the full text at Texas Civ.
Prac. & Rem. Code section 74.301):
So, what are these
all-important “non-economic damages”? In any injury case, non-economic damages include
compensation for things like pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss
of enjoyment of life. Non-economic damages are said to be more “subjective” from
plaintiff to plaintiff, and they’re not so easy to capture with a dollar
Remember that Texas does not cap economic damages, which typically consist of payment for past and
future medical care, reimbursement of lost income, compensation for lost
earning capacity, and other financial losses that can be attributed to the malpractice
on which the lawsuit is based.
Learn more: Medical
by: David Goguen, J.D.