Free Consultation (800) 272-4080
Call Now (800) 272-4080

2024 Michigan Limits on Non-Economic Damages for Medical Malpractice Claims

March 4, 2024

Personal injury victims should understand the caps that Michigan law places on the award of non-economic damages. That’s an award for “pain and suffering.” As a patient may suffer an injury or worsened medical conditions that’s not tangible. That makes it hard to assign a financial value to them.

What are Non-Economic Damages?

Non-economic damages are defined in Michigan as “damages or loss due to pain, suffering, inconvenience, physical impairment, or physical disfigurement, loss of society and companionship, whether claimed under section 2922 or otherwise, loss of consortium, or other noneconomic loss.”

Every year the State of Michigan Department of Treasury adjusts the limitations “to reflect the cumulative annual percentage change in the consumer price index.” The state legislature limits the amount recoverable for non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases and is found in MCL § 600.1483.

There are two tiers for non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases. Beginning January 1, 2024, the lower limit for non-economic damages medical malpractice claims is $569,000. The upper limit has been adjusted upward to $1,016,000. The upper limit applies only if the plaintiff suffered paralysis of one or more limbs, a permanently damaging brain injury, or a permanently damaging spinal cord injury.

The statute provides that a plaintiff is entitled to the upper-cap for non-economic damages if the plaintiff can establish that they suffered one of the following injuries as a result of the alleged medical malpractice:

  1. The plaintiff is hemiplegic, paraplegic, or quadriplegic resulting in a total permanent functional loss of one or more limbs caused by a brain or spinal cord injury; or
  2. The plaintiff has permanently impaired cognitive capacity rendering them incapable of making independent, responsible life decisions and permanently incapable of independently performing the activities of normal, daily living; or
  3. There’s been permanent loss of or damage to a reproductive organ resulting in the inability to procreate.

Plaintiffs with injuries that don’t fall into one of these categories are entitled to the lower-cap for non-economic damage.

Is There a Deadline to Sue for Medical Malpractice?

Yes. The statute of limitations for most medical malpractice claims in Michigan is two years. So, a medical malpractice victim has just two years from the date of their injury to file a  complaint. But if the effects of medical malpractice aren’t immediately apparent, a victim  would have six months from the date he or she discovered their injury to initiate a lawsuit.

Also, if the medical malpractice causes death, the victim’s family can pursue a wrongful death lawsuit.

Speak with the Experienced Team at Buchanan Firm

Note that there’s no limit for economic damages. As a result, a medical malpractice victim has the right to seek full compensation for any and all economic losses that stem from the medical malpractice.

Errors by healthcare professionals can lead to injury, illness, and death. Having an experienced law firm that’s prepared to represent you is essential.

Our law firm proudly serves people all across Michigan, including major cities like Grand Rapids, Muskegon, Detroit, Lansing, Holland, St. Joe, and Ann Arbor, as well as rural towns such as Lowell, Ada, Fremont, Newaygo, Grand Haven, Rockford, and Cedar Springs. We will meet you after hours, at home, or in the hospital to accommodate you.

Contact us today!