All Posts

Posted in Personal Injury on October 21, 2021   |  by Gary Burger

Medical Malpractice Damage Caps in Missouri

Medical Malpractice Damage Caps in MissouriAt Burger Law, we have over 25 years of experience handling medical malpractice cases. If you feel you were deprived of the standard of medical care that you should have received, call us today and we will make sure you get the compensation you deserve. Call (314) 500-HURT right away to speak to a qualified medical malpractice lawyer in Missouri or Illinois about your claim for free today.

We trust doctors and health care providers to give us quality care in terms of diagnosis, treatment, and providing information. Unfortunately, sometimes they are negligent in their care, which can lead to significant harm to the patient, and in the worst cases death. If you or a loved one has been impacted by receiving substandard care, you may be entitled to compensation and our St. Louis medical malpractice lawyers will fight for you.

Unfortunately, there are limits to how much compensation that state of Missouri will allow you to receive. In an effort to keep down insurance premiums, the state legislature passed Senate Bill 239 in 2015, which limited non-economic damages to $400,000 for personal injury and $700,000 for catastrophic personal injury. These limitations increase by 1.7% each year, and by 2050 the caps will be $721,959 and $1,262,791. So this year, in 2021, the limits are $442,574 and $774,504. The Missouri Supreme Court upheld the law 5-1 in a decision just this past summer.

What is "Catastrophic" Personal Injury

The state of Missouri defines “catastrophic” personal injury as:

  • Quadriplegia, or the permanent loss of function in all four limbs;
  • Paraplegia, or the permanent loss of function in two limbs;
  • The loss of two or more limbs;
  • An injury to the brain resulting in permanent cognitive impairments, resulting in permanent inability to make independent decisions, or the permanent inability to engage in one or more of the following daily actions: eating, dressing, bathing, toileting, transferring, and walking;
  • An injury that causes irreversible failure of one or more organ systems; or
  • Permanent vision loss such that the person becomes legally blind, having no better than 20/200 vision in the better eye.

The death of a loved one would also be considered catastrophic.

This means that even if a jury decided to award a plaintiff $2,000,000 in noneconomic damages, the judge would only be allowed to grant $744,504 as of 2021.

Economic Damages vs. Noneconomic Damages

Economic damages refer to the monetary harm a person can incur, including medical bills, lost wages or lost earning capacity. They also include any future cost of medical care for someone who will need life-long care because of malpractice.

Noneconomic damages refer to non-monetary harm that can happen as a result of negligence, including pain and suffering, mental anguish, inconvenience, physical impairment, disfigurement or loss of the capacity to enjoy life. These damages are much more difficult to quantify than economic damages.

This means that while your compensation for pain and suffering are capped, you will still receive compensation for any money you may have lost.

Recover Compensation for Your Medical Malpractice Damages

If you have been hurt or caused anguish by negligent or incompetent medical care, Burger Law is here to help you fight to get the compensation you deserve. Call us now at (314) 500-HURT or Contact us online