Medical Malpractice Caps

Hurting Nebraska Kids
Unbeknownst to most Nebraskans, Nebraska has one of the worst medical malpractice laws in the entire country.  Our state caps the economic and non-economic recovery of patients injured or killed in the health care industry.

For example, currently, if a child suffers a catastrophic birth injury and has permanent brain damage, and sues a hospital and wins, the most the family can recover to take care of their child is 1.75 million... for the rest of his or her life.

If a child suffers such an injury, the lifetime cost of care could run upwards of 10 million easily.  In those cases, the judge has no choice but to reduce the verdict from 10 million to 1.75 million dollars.  The balance, 8.25 million dollars, is then paid by the Nebraska tax payers through Medicaid and other programs.  The most the medical malpractice insurance company has to pay is $500,000 dollars.  The Nebraska Excess Liability Fund pays the difference of any money recovered by the family over $500,000 dollars.

If the breadwinner of the family is killed by medical negligence, the most his or her family can recover is 1.75 million dollars.  Even if a jury verdict was 3 million, the judge has no choice but to take away 1.25 million dollars right off the bat.  

Nebraska's cap on economic damages is morally wrong and we believe, unconstitutional.  Nebraska jury verdicts on economic damages should be allowed to stand like it does in 47 other states.  Economic damages include recovery for future medical care and lost future income.

Challenging the 
cap in Court is one solution, but that can take upwards of a decade to do and then there is no guarantee the Nebraska Supreme Court will find our medical malpractice cap unconstitutional.  Another solution is to have our state legislators provide for a catastrophic exception to our cap that would cover the economic loss of patients who are left blind, paralyzed, brain injured, or unable to work due to medical negligence.

For more information or to learn how to opt out of the medical malpractice cap, please feel free to contact our office. 

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