Damage Cap

Damage Caps for Medical Malpractice Claims in Kentucky

Explaining your right to compensation for medical malpractice in Lexington and Louisville

Navigating the landscape of medical malpractice claims in Kentucky can be complex, especially when it comes to understanding the limitations on damages that may be awarded in these cases. Many states have specific laws and regulations in place that impose caps or limits on the amount of compensation that victims of medical malpractice can recover for their injuries, losses, and damages. These damage caps are designed to restrict the financial liability of healthcare providers, hospitals, and insurance companies, and they can significantly affect the amount of compensation that you and your family can receive in a medical malpractice lawsuit. The Kentucky medical malpractice attorneys at Wilt Injury Lawyers are here to answer your questions and provide dedicated legal advocacy.

What are damage caps?

Damage caps refer to the statutory limitations and restrictions imposed by law on the amount of compensation that victims can recover in lawsuits for their injuries, losses, and damages. These caps reduce the total amount of damages that can be awarded to victims by placing a limit on non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of consortium.

Economic damages, such as medical bills, lost wages, and associated tangible costs, are generally excluded from these caps.

What are the caps on medical malpractice damages here in Kentucky?

Kentucky is one of the few states with no caps on medical malpractice awards. This means there is no limit on the amount of compensation a jury can award a plaintiff in a medical malpractice case. This applies to both economic damages and non-economic damages.

However, it's important to note that there is an exception: the Kentucky Claims Commission Cap. This applies to lawsuits against the state or state employees. The Kentucky Claims Commission limits financial recoveries to $200,000 per claim, with a maximum of $400,000 for multiple claims arising from a single incident.

What implications do damage caps have in a lawsuit?

Damage caps can have significant implications for both plaintiffs (people suing) and defendants (people being sued) in a lawsuit, particularly personal injury and medical malpractice cases. Here's a breakdown of the effects:

  • Limited compensation: The biggest effect is on the amount of compensation a plaintiff can receive. Damage caps restrict how much they can recover, especially for non-economic damages like pain and suffering. This can be a major concern in severe injuries with long-term consequences.
  • Discourages lawsuits: Knowing there's a limit on damages might discourage some plaintiffs from filing lawsuits, especially if the projected costs of litigation outweigh the potential capped award.
  • Settlement encouragement: Damage caps can push both sides towards settlement negotiations, as they provide a clear upper limit on what a plaintiff can expect in court.
  • Debate on fairness: There's ongoing debate about the fairness of damage caps. Some argue they protect defendants from excessive awards, while others believe they unfairly limit compensation for severely injured plaintiffs.

A word about punitive damages

Kentucky Revised Statute 411.184 defines punitive damages as damages awarded to punish a person and discourage them and others from similar conduct in the future. Punitive damages are different from compensatory and nominal damages.

A plaintiff can only recover punitive damages if they can prove by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant acted toward them with oppression, fraud, malice, or gross negligence. For the purpose of punitive damages, fraud is defined as the intentional misrepresentation, deceit, or concealment of material fact known to the defendant and made with the intention of causing injury to the plaintiff.

Punitive damages are awarded when the defendant's conduct is determined to have been so "willful, malicious, or fraudulent" that it exceeds the legal criteria for mere or gross negligence.

Do you have a Kentucky malpractice lawyer near me?

Wilt Injury Lawyers has offices in Louisville and Lexington:

Louisville Office

Louisville Kentucky Map

13113 Eastpoint Park Blvd. Suite A
Louisville, KY 40223
Phone: 502-253-9110

Lexington Office

Lexington Kentucky Map

196 W. Lowry Lane, Suite 1
Lexington, KY 40503
Phone: 502-461-1481

If you are too injured or ill to travel to us, we can arrange a phone or video conference. We also make hospital visits when necessary.

Let our Kentucky medical malpractice lawyers guide you through the legal process

Although Kentucky medical malpractice damage caps have been implemented in the past, our state no longer has damage caps. This is good news for you and your claim, and means the attorneys at Wilt Injury Lawyers can pursue the maximum and full compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses. With our knowledge, expertise, and commitment to excellence, we will meticulously evaluate your case, explore your legal options, and guide you through every step of the legal process to hold negligent healthcare providers accountable and help you move on with your life. Call our offices or fill out our contact form today to schedule a consultation. We have offices in Louisville and Lexington.