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Limits On Liability For Negligent Doctors

Entering a medical facility for any procedure is scary. While patients put their trust in medical professionals every day, there are often unknown risks. The flip side to this is that care providers do their best to prevent accidents. The rising cost of healthcare has everyone on edge, including physicians.

In an effort to combat the high cost of medical care, some states have acted to limit the amount of recovery an injured person can receive from a medical mishap. In 2003, West Virginia placed such a cap on the amount of monetary award available in medical negligence situation. The 2003 law is summarized as follows:

● $250,000 is the limit for pain and suffering

● $500,000 is the cap for more serious cases

What does this mean to the injured party? As one West Virginia State Supreme Court case illustrates, the Court has the power to reduce an award of damages. Even when presented with evidence of the loss of some enjoyment of life and other significant distress, in this case, a circuit court judge reversed a decision made after a Jury trial, and reduced a $1.5 million award to $500,000. The State Supreme Court upheld the decision.

The Court reasoned that since the State legislature had put a law into place that put a cap on awards, it was not the place of the judiciary to replace that stipulation with its own judgment. While this act is celebrated among those in the medical community, injured litigants need zealous legal representation to ensure that every possible penny is awarded for damages.

If you have been hurt by a medical-care provider, contact a West Virginia medical malpractice attorney for an explanation of your legal rights. Call for information regarding caps on monetary awards and find out how you can get the best result for your special circumstances.

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