NORTH CAROLINA CAP ON MALPRACTICE DAMAGES

Often we will get calls from Virginia residents who received medical treatment in North Carolina. We always advise they call a North Carolina attorney to get advice as the state laws are different.

In Virginia, you have two years to file a malpractice action and can legally get up to $2,000,000.00 for your pain and suffering, lost wages etc. Sometimes this amount will make a person “whole” legally speaking, and sometimes it is insufficient.
Starting this month in North Carolina, individuals are entitled to their blackboard damages (meaning, what their actual and future medical bills, lost wages, and other calculable damages are) but there will now be a $500,000 cap on non-economic damages.
That means, you lose the ability to walk, drive, experience the joy of human touch, the ability to hold a child, care for a grandchild, your pain and suffering cannot be compensated beyond $500,000.
If I put an ad in the paper that said – “apply. $500000 one time fee for anyone willing to lose their ability to walk, use the bathroom, hold a child, be independent,” do you think anyone would apply?
I doubt it.
I think it is a sad development in North Carolina law. One no doubt that will bring its share of unintended consequences.
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Lauren Ellerman

In 2011, Lauren Ellerman was named "Young Lawyer of the Year" by the Roanoke Bar Association for her work in the community. To speak with Lauren about your personal injury case, contact her at lellerman@frithlawfirm.com.