Is there a cap on medical malpractice damages in Michigan?
Yes. Like the majority of states,
Michigan “caps” or limits the amount of damages that are available to a
plaintiff who has been successful in a medical malpractice lawsuit. Michigan’s cap is a little more complex than most
According to Michigan
Compiled Laws section 600.1483, there is a $280,000 cap on non-economic damages
available in a single medical malpractice claim. Non-economic damages include
compensation for the medical malpractice plaintiff’s pain and suffering, loss
of enjoyment of life, stress, anxiety, and other effects of the defendant’s medical
But that’s not all. In
Michigan, the non-economic damages cap is increased to $500,000 if:
plaintiff is rendered hemiplegic, paraplegic, or quadriplegic because of the
malpractice, and has suffered a total permanent functional loss of a limb
because of injury to the brain or spinal cord, or
2) the malpractice
has left the plaintiff with a permanently impaired cognitive capacity and rendered him or her incapable
of making independent, responsible life decisions, and permanently incapable of
independently performing the activities of normal daily life, or
(3) the malpractice has caused permanent loss of or damage to a
reproductive organ resulting in the plaintiff’s inability to procreate.
Since 1994, both the $280,000
cap and the $500,000 cap have been reviewed at the end of each calendar year
and adjusted according to the consumer price index. As of 2013, the $280,000
cap had increased to $433,400, and the $500,000 cap had been bumped up to $774,000.
Remember that Michigan places
no cap on the other main category of damages available to a medical malpractice
plaintiff, economic damages, which includes compensation for past medical
expenses, ongoing medical care, lost income, harm to the plaintiff’s ability to
earn a living, and any other measurable financial losses. Learn more about damages in a medical malpractice case.
by: David Goguen, J.D.
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