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How does the wrongful death cap work in a Texas medical malpractice lawsuit?

Painter Law Firm's frequently asked question (FAQ) series

When it comes to a wrongful death claim that’s related to medical malpractice, there are two different types of caps that you need to be aware of.

The first cap applies to all medical malpractice cases, whether a death is involved or not. Texas law imposes a cap on non-economic damages. Non-economic damages are those serious, yet intangible, injuries including pain-and-suffering, mental anguish, physical impairment, physical disfigurement, and even the loss of a loved one.

The non-economic damages cap in all medical malpractice cases limits the recovery to $250,000 to $750,000, depending on who’s named as a defendant. There is a $250,000 cap if you sue one or more physicians or individual healthcare providers. There is a separate cap of $250,000 if you sue a hospital or facility, which increases to $500,000 if you sue two or more hospitals or facilities.

Importantly, the non-economic damages cap doesn’t apply to economic damages, which include things like past and future medical bills and past and future lost earnings.

The second cap applies to wrongful death medical malpractice cases, which are claims that allege that a patient died because of medical negligence. After the standard non-economic damages cap for all medical malpractice cases is applied, the wrongful death cap kicks in.

The wrongful death cap is indexed against the consumer price index and is currently around $2 million. It applies to both non-economic and economic damages.

It’s important to hire a top-rated, experienced Texas medical malpractice attorney who can advise you on all of the caps that apply in this complex area of the law.

Robert Painter is an award-winning medical malpractice attorney at Painter Law Firm PLLC, in Houston, Texas. He is a former hospital administrator who represents patients and family members in medical negligence and wrongful death lawsuits all over Texas. Contact him by calling 281-580-8800 or emailing him right now.


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