Is there a cap on medical malpractice damages in Nebraska?

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Question:

Is there a cap on medical malpractice damages in Nebraska?

Answer:

Yes. Like a lot of states, Nebraska has a law on the books that limits the amount of compensation that a plaintiff can receive in a medical malpractice case, even after the plaintiff has been successful at trial and the jury has issued a finding that the defendant's medical negligence caused significant harm to the plaintiff.

Nebraska's damages cap is pretty unique among states. That's because most states place a cap only on one category of medical malpractice damages: non-economic damages, which includes compensation for things like pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, anxiety, emotional distress, and other subjective harm caused by the malpractice.

But in accord with Nebraska Revised Statutes section 44-2825, the state has placed a $1.75 million total cap on damages in medical malpractice cases. This includes the plaintiff's economic damages -- meaning payment for past and future medical care, lost income, and future lost earnings or harm to earning capacity -- as well as non-economic harm.

Another wrinkle in Nebraska's med mal damages cap is that health care providers who qualify under the state's Hospital-Medical Liability Act won't pay more than $500,000 in total damages, and any amount above that $500,000 is paid out from the state's Excess Liability Fund (up to the $1.75 million overall cap, of course). 

by: , J.D.

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