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What are the Michigan Medical Malpractice Claims Caps in 2022?

June 2, 2022

The State of Michigan Department of Treasury has set the updated limitations on noneconomic damages for claims alleging medical malpractice. The “upper cap” was adjusted to $887,500 (an increase of $36,500 compared to 2021). The “lower cap” was adjusted to a limitation of $497,000 (an increase of $20,400 compared to 2021).

The limits are adjusted annually, and just to give you an idea of where we started, in 1995, the lower limit for medical malpractice cases was only $228,825, and the upper limit was $515,759.

What Are Non-Economic Damages?

Typical non-economic damages can include pain and suffering, emotional anguish, damage to a person’s reputation, the loss of enjoyment of activities, or the worsening of prior injuries. In addition, a victim’s spouse may be able to recover non-economic damage known as loss of consortium.

Michigan statutes define “non-economic loss” as “damages or loss due to pain, suffering, inconvenience, physical impairment, or physical disfigurement, loss of society and companionship, … loss of consortium, or other noneconomic loss.” The two caps on non-economic damages are called the “upper cap” and the “lower cap.” The upper cap applies only if the claimed medical malpractice results in one or more of the following situations:

In a medical malpractice claim, the total amount of damages for noneconomic loss recoverable by all plaintiffs, resulting from the negligence of all defendants, can’t exceed the lower limit unless, as the result of the negligence of one or more of the defendants, one or more of the following exceptions applies as determined by the court. In those cases, damages for noneconomic loss can’t exceed the upper limit. These are situations when:

  1. The plaintiff is hemiplegic, paraplegic, or quadriplegic resulting in a total permanent functional loss of one or more limbs caused by injury to the brain or injury to the spinal cord;
  2. The plaintiff has permanently impaired cognitive capacity rendering him or her 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.

In all other cases, the lower cap applies to all other medical malpractice cases.

Contact us!

If you’ve been seriously injured as a result of a doctor or healthcare facility’s mistake, you need to understand the types of recoverable damages in a medical malpractice action—as well as the cap on noneconomic damages in Michigan.

For a free consultation with an experienced injury attorney in Grand Rapids, contact Buchanan Firm. We can discuss your situation if you believe you’ve been injured as the result of a physician or healthcare facility error.

Our medical malpractice lawyers in Grand Rapids proudly serve people all across Michigan, including major cities like Grand Rapids, Muskegon, Detroit, Lansing, Holland, St. Joe, and Ann Arbor, and 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.