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Damage Caps in Michigan Nursing Home Injury Lawsuits

Our Michigan nursing home injury lawyers file lawsuits for residents who have suffered injury or harm due to a neglect or abuse in a skilled nursing care facility.  Unfortunately, many of these medical mistakes result in significant harm and even death to the resident.  A nursing home lawsuit seeks fair compensation for the injured resident or the surviving family members if the neglect led to the death of the resident.

When suing a Michigan nursing home for neglect or abuse, many of the allegations in the lawsuit are for negligence by a licensed health care provider.  This would include a physician, nurse, physical therapist, speech therapist, would care specialist, or other licensed provider.  Other allegations may be for different types of general negligence, like burn injury or food poisoning, and not for acts of negligence by medical personnel.

Lawsuit allegations for general negligence do not have limits on damages.  For allegations that arise from medical negligence, the Michigan damage caps are often applied by the court to limit the amount of compensation the resident or family can receive in the lawsuit.  These caps, or limitations, on damages are set by the state statute below.

MCL     600.1483 Action for damages alleging medical malpractice; limitation on noneconomic damages; exceptions; itemizing damages into economic and noneconomic loss; “noneconomic loss” defined; adjusting limitation on noneconomic loss.

 (1) In an action for damages alleging medical malpractice by or against a person or party, the total amount of damages for noneconomic loss recoverable by all plaintiffs, resulting from the negligence of all defendants, shall not exceed $280,000.00 unless, as the result of the negligence of 1 or more of the defendants, 1 or more of the following exceptions apply as determined by the court pursuant to section 6304, in which case damages for noneconomic loss shall not exceed $500,000.00:

(a) The plaintiff is hemiplegic, paraplegic, or quadriplegic resulting in a total permanent functional loss of 1 or more limbs caused by 1 or more of the following:

(i) Injury to the brain.

(ii) Injury to the spinal cord.

(b) The plaintiff has permanently impaired cognitive capacity rendering him or her incapable of making independent, responsible life decisions and permanently incapable of independently performing the activities of normal, daily living.

(c) There has been permanent loss of or damage to a reproductive organ resulting in the inability to procreate.

(2) In awarding damages in an action alleging medical malpractice, the trier of fact shall itemize damages into damages for economic loss and damages for noneconomic loss.

(3) As used in this section, “noneconomic loss” means damages or loss due to pain, suffering, inconvenience, physical impairment, physical disfigurement, or other noneconomic loss.

The damage limit is adjusted every year by the state treasurer to account for inflation.  In 2013, the lower cap limit is $455,200 and the higher cap limit is $774,000.  These caps do not include amounts that can be awarded for medical expenses, which are often significant in nursing home injury cases.    These “economic” losses can be added to the damage cap limits.

Contact A Michigan Nursing Home Lawsuit Attorney

To find out if you have a medical malpractice case and which damage cap would apply to your lawsuit, you should contact our medical malpractice lawyers immediately to discuss your case. We will handle your case under our No Fee Promise, which means there are no legal fees or costs unless you receive a settlement!

Call our office now at (800) 606-1717 to speak with one our experienced medical malpractice attorneys. Or, you can fill out the Get Help Now box on this page and press “Click to Send.”  One of our experienced lawyers will contact you shortly.