| Read Time: 4 minutes | General Practice

For medical malpractice cases, a victim’s suffering can extend beyond their visible physical injuries. It can also profoundly impact their life. Pain and suffering damages represent intangible yet critical aspects of these cases. These encapsulate the emotional, psychological, and physical anguish that experienced by victims of medical negligence.

It may seem difficult to try and put a dollar amount on such injuries. But, if you suffer due to medical malpractice in Maryland, you are entitled to seek compensation. 

Read on to learn more about pain and suffering in medical malpractice cases, and how the team at Baird Mandalas Brockstedt & Federico can help. If you have any questions, please contact our Maryland medical malpractice lawyers right away.

Understanding Pain and Suffering in Medical Malpractice

As a legal term, pain and suffering is a type of noneconomic damage awarded when individuals suffer due to the negligence of another. In Maryland, this includes any “pain, suffering, inconvenience, physical impairment, disfigurement, loss of consortium, or other non-pecuniary injuries”. In other words, pain and suffering covers various forms of harm that extend beyond tangible injuries.

Firstly, it includes the physical pain endured by the patient. This spans from the immediate aftermath of malpractice to enduring the discomfort and physical limitations thereafter.

It also covers emotional distress and mental anguish caused by the malpractice. This often manifests through anxiety, depression, trauma, or severe stress due to the injury. All of which significantly impact a patient’s mental health and well-being.

In addition, pain and suffering damages help compensate victims for their lowered ability to enjoy their life. This may include usual activities, hobbies, or relationships. Medical malpractice can have a significant effect on a patient’s physical, emotional, and social aspects of life. Evaluating and understanding these dimensions is crucial to compensating victims for their injuries.

How to Calculate Pain and Suffering Damages in Maryland?

Calculating pain and suffering damages in Maryland involves an assessment guided by the case’s unique factors. This assessment is subjective. In general, several key elements contribute to this calculation:

  • Nature and severity of the injury. The extent and nature of the injury due to the medical malpractice are critical. Severe injuries, long-term complications, or disabilities caused by the malpractice may increase the amount awarded significantly. 
  • Evidence. Having the right evidence is crucial to proving pain and suffering. Medical malpractice can be proven through detailed medical records, expert testimonies from healthcare professionals, and assessments. This documentation will prove the physical and emotional distress caused by the malpractice. It also details the specific impact of the medical error on the patient’s health and quality of life.
  • Duration and prognosis. In other words, the amount of time the patient experiences pain and suffering and the expected prognosis. Chronic pain, long-term disabilities, or lasting psychological trauma are significant factors in determining compensation.
  • Impact on daily life. The long-term effects of the medical malpractice on the patient’s ability to work, engage in daily activities, and maintain relationships is also a contributing factor. Loss of enjoyment of life, limitations in activities, and emotional distress are also considered.

In addition to these considerations, Maryland law imposes specific limitations on pain and suffering damages in medical malpractice cases.

Limits on Pain and Suffering Damages in Maryland

Like many other states, Maryland places a cap or limit on the amount of noneconomic damages a plaintiff can recover. This cap is based on the year of the injury or death, adjusted annually. The most recent caps on medical malpractice claims are as follows:

  • 2022 – $860,000.00
  • 2023 – $875,000.00
  • 2024 – $890,000.00

Medical malpractice resulting in a wrongful death claim, on the other hand, has a higher limit. They are:

  • 2022 – $1,075,000.00
  • 2023 – $1,093,750.00
  • 2024 – $1,112,500.00

Maryland has a lower cap for medical malpractice cases than other negligence claims. This cap applies a broad definition of the term “healthcare provider”. It includes physicians, dentists, chiropractors, physical therapists, nurses, and even unskilled nursing home employees.

Be sure to consult with the medical malpractice team at Baird Mandalas Brockstedt & Federico to see if this cap applies to your case and the best strategies to get the maximum compensation you can.

Maryland Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations

Every civil claim has a specified time period in which the plaintiff must initiate legal proceedings. This is known as its statute of limitations. Maryland law states that medical malpractice claims must be filed within three years from the date of injury. In cases where the injury is not discovered until later, plaintiffs may have more time to file, but only up to five years from the date of injury.

In addition, like many other states, Maryland requires that a plaintiff obtain a certificate from a medical expert attesting that the case has merit within 90 days of filing a claim. These and other complexities are why you should consult with an experienced Maryland medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible if you think you may have a claim. 

Do You Think You Have a Medical Malpractice Claim?

Determining if you have a medical malpractice case hinges on various factors. Some of the most common occurrences that lead to such claims are:

When it comes to medical malpractice and pain and suffering damages, the complexities can be overwhelming. If you are enduring pain and suffering due to one of these errors, it’s time to seek professional legal advice to assess the strength of your case. Medical malpractice cases are highly complicated and often require the expertise of an attorney familiar with such claims, so don’t wait to schedule a consultation if you are in this position. 

Trust the Medical Malpractice Team at Baird Mandalas Brockstedt & Federico

At Baird Mandalas Brockstedt & Federico, we know that recovery after an incident of medical malpractice in Maryland can be stressful and overwhelming. If you find yourself at this point and don’t know where to turn, trust the medical malpractice lawyers with decades of experience and a proven track record of success in obtaining positive results for our clients. To schedule a consultation with our firm to discuss your case, call us or fill out our online contact form to get started.

Author Photo

Phil Federico is a partner at Baird Mandalas Brockstedt & Federico where he helps lead the Mass Tort / Class Action and Environmental Law practices, transitioning into these areas after beginning his career as a medical malpractice litigator.

Phil has led and been involved in historic and groundbreaking litigation with verdicts and settlements exceeding one billion dollars.

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