Yes. Since 1986, the West Virginia Legislature has "capped" the
amount of damages a person may receive for pain and suffering. Initially,
the cap was $1 million. In 2003, the Legislature reduced the non-economic
caps to $500,000 for those victims who suffer wrongful death, permanent
and substantial physical deformity as well as a loss/use of a limb or
body organ, or a permanent injury that prevents the plaintiff from being
able to care for themselves and perform life-sustaining activities.
In all cases not involving wrongful death, permanent and substantial physical
deformity as well as a loss/use of a limb or body organ, or a permanent
injury that prevents the plaintiff from being able to care for themselves
and perform life-sustaining activities, the cap on non-economic damages
These caps are adjusted annually for inflation. While there is a cap on
non-economic damages, West Virginia does not place a cap on economic damages
(past and future medical expenses, past lost wages, future lost wages, etc.).
A second cap applies to certain victims who receive negligent treatment
at a designated trauma center. This "trauma cap" is $500,000.
However, effective July 1, 2016, even if the trauma cap applies, a victim
may be able to receive an additional $1 million in compensation for economic
loss exceeding the trauam cap. There are also exceptions to the trauma
cap if the healthcare provider fails to follow certain written guidelines
or if he or she acts in reckless disregard of the patient's safety.
Medical negligence is one of the most difficult types of cases to prove.
In addition, even if you prove your case, certain caps may apply. Trust
a lawyer who has handled hundreds of medcial negligence cases. Our lawyers
have been ranked by their peers as some of the "Best Lawyers in America"
in medical negligence and personal injury cases. If you have been injured
as a result of medical malpractice, contact an attorney at Preston &
Salango for a free evaluation.