Is there a cap on medical malpractice damages in Idaho?
Yes. In fact, it’s not just medical malpractice cases. Idaho is one of the few states that sets a limit or cap on certain kinds of damages in all “tort” or personal injury cases, which includes those stemming from medical malpractice.
Idaho Code section 6-1603 puts a $250,000 cap on non-economic damages in personal injury cases. By law, this $250,000 cap is a variable one; it increases or decreases along with the Idaho Industrial Commission’s adjustment of the “annual living wage” in accord with Idaho Code section 72-409(2).
So, what are non-economic damages? They’re the kinds of losses that are more subjective to the plaintiff (the person who was injured), and they’re not very easy to quantify with a dollar amount. Non-economic damages include pain and suffering, anxiety, discomfort, lost enjoyment, lost companionship, and other negative effects of the accident, injuries, and medical treatment.
It’s very important to note that Idaho’s $250,000 cap on non-economic damages does not apply to the other main category of compensation available to a medical malpractice plaintiff: economic damages. Those include medical expenses (past and future), lost income, lost or decreased ability to earn a living in the future, and any other losses that can be captured with a dollar figure. There is no cap on economic damages in Idaho medical malpractice cases (or in standard personal injury cases in Idaho, for that matter.)
Learn more about Damages in Medical Malpractice Cases.
by: David Goguen, J.D.