Malpractice Damage Caps in All 50 States

As of March 2018, there are eight states where malpractice caps have been ruled unconstitutional:

New Hampshire
North Dakota

There are 30 states with malpractice damage caps:

New Mexico**
North Carolina
South Carolina
South Dakota
West Virginia

The states without an asterisk have caps on pain and suffering noneconomic damages.  The states with one asterisk have caps both on pain and suffering and an absolute cap and states with two asterisks have just a hard cap, although the cap for future medical care does not apply in some of these states. 

Below is a look at the malpractice caps on damages on all 50 states and the District of Columbia:

Cap on Noneconomic Damages
State Code
AlabamaCap found unconstitutional (was $400,000 cap, declared unconstitutional in Moore v. Mobile Infirmary Ass'n, 1991)
Alaska$400,000 noneconomic damages including wrongful death or a disability considered more than 70% disabling; otherwise cap is $250,000; for non-malpractice damages may not exceedAlaska Statutes 09.55.549
ArizonaConstitutional provision prohibiting caps
ArkansasConstitutional provision prohibiting caps ($500,000 cap put on the 2018 ballot)
California$250,000California Code of Civil Procedure Sections 340.4 and 340.5
Colorado$300,000 noneconomic damages
$1,000,000 total damages
Colorado Revised Statutes 13-80-102.5
FloridaCap found unconstitutional (was $500,000 or $1,000,000 for catastrophic injuries enacted in 2003, overturned in North Broward Hospital District v Kalitan, 2017)Florida Statutes XLV.766.118
GeorgiaCap found unconstitutional (was $350,000 per defendant, $1,050,000 max per claim, ruled unconstitutional in Atlanta Oculoplastic Surgery, P.C. v. Nestlehutt, 2010)2005 SB3 - Ga. Code Ann. § 51-1-29.5
Hawaii$375,000 with limited exceptions for cases involving multiple defendantsHawaii Revised Statutes 663-8.7 Haw. Rev. Stat. § 607-15.5 (1996)
Idaho$250,000, adjusted annually for inflation, $357,210.62 in 2018Idaho Code section 6-1603
IllinoisCap found unconstitutional (was $500,000 per doctor/healthcare provider, and $1,000,000 per hospital or other healthcare facility, overturned in LeBron vs. Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, 2010)
Indiana$1,250,000 total damages after 1999
Providers liable for $250,000
Indiana Code section 34-18-14-3
Iowa$250,000 except in cases of substantial or permanent loss or impairment of bodily functions, substantial disfigurement, or wrongful death
Kansas$250,000 cap for causes of action accruing from July 1, 1988 to July 1, 2014; $300,000 cap for causes of action accruing from July 1, 2014 to July 1, 2018; $325,000 cap for causes of action accruing from July 1, 2018 to July 1, 2022; $350,000 cap for causes of action accruing on or after July 1, 20222014 SB311
K.S.A. § 60-19a02(1)
KentuckyConstitutional provision prohibiting caps
Louisiana$500,000 total damages, plus the cost of future medical expenses Providers liable for $100,000
Maine$500,000 cap on wrongful death onlyMaine Revised Statutes Title 18A Section 2-804
MarylandStarting in 2005 for malpractice claims: $650,000 increasing by $15,000 each year beginning in 2009, 125% for wrongful death claims
Massachusetts$500,000 unless there is a "substantial or permanent loss or impairment of a bodily function or substantial disfigurement or other special circumstances that would warrant a finding that imposition of such limitation would deprive plaintiff of just compensation for injuries"
Michigan$454,410 as of 2018, or $811,410 for catastrophic/disabling injuries as of 2018, adjusts annually for inflation
Mississippi$500,000Mississippi Code section 11-1-60
increased to $736,310 for cases of catastrophic personal injury or wrongful death
Missouri Revised Statutes section 538.210.1
Montana$250,000Montana Code Annotated section 25-9-411
Nebraska$1,250,000 for malpractice occurring between 1993 and 2003, $1,750,000 for malpractice occurring between 2004 and 2014, $2,250,000 for malpractice occurring after 2014Nebraska Revised Statutes section 44-2825
Nevada$350,000 from each defendantNevada Revised Statutes section 41A.035
New HampshireCap found unconstitutional (Court struck down a bill to impose a $875,000 cap on all personal injury non-economic damages)
New JerseyNone (only punitive damages capped)
New Mexico$600,000 cap on all damages except for past/future medical bills $200,000 maximum provider liability
New YorkNone
North Carolina$545,144 as of 2018 $500,000 set in 2011, adjusted for inflation starting in 2014North Carolina General Statutes section 90-21.19
North DakotaCap found unconstitutional ($500,000 cap overturned in 2018)
Ohio$250,000 or three times the plaintiff's economic damages with an overall maximum of $350,000 per plaintiff or $500,000 for each case if there is more than one plaintiff
Constitutional provision prohibiting caps on wrongful death claims
Ohio Revised Code section 2323.43
Oklahoma$350,000 unless the court determines that there's "clear and convincing" evidence that the defendant behaved with gross negligence, recklessly disregarded the rights of the patient, had fraudulent intent, or acted with malice or intent to harm the plaintiffOklahoma Statutes section 23-61.2
OregonCap found unconstitutional ($500,000 cap eliminated in Vasquez v. Double Press Mfg, 2017)
PennsylvaniaConstitutional provision prohibiting caps
Rhode IslandNone
South Carolina$1,050,000
$350,000 against each provider, adjusted annually for inflation
South Carolina Code of Laws Title 15, Chapter 32
South Dakota$500,000South Dakota Code of Laws section 21-3-11
Tennessee$750,000 for non-catastrophic cases, $1,000,000 for catastrophic injuries including those to the spinal cord resulting in paraplegia, quadriplegia, amputation of hands/feet, and extensive burns
Texas$250,000 against each health care facility, not exceeding $500,000 $250,000 against multiple individual health care providers2003 HB4 Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code section 74.301
Constitutional provision prohibiting caps on wrongful death claims
Utah Code section 78B-3-410
Virginia$2,300,000 total damages until July 2018, set to rise $50,000 each year until it tops out at $3,000,000 in 2031Virginia Code section 8.01.581.15
WashingtonCap found unconstitutional (Sofie v. Fireboard Corp, 1989)
West Virginia$250,000 $500,000 in catastrophic cases, including wrongful death, permanent and serious disfigurement, or an injury that permanently prevents the plaintiff from being able to care for him/herself and perform life-sustaining activities - but there are exceptions in statutes that you have to dig throughWest Virginia Code section 55-7B-8
WisconsinCap found unconstitutional ($750,000 cap overturned in Mayo v. Wisconsin Injured Patients & Families Compensation Fund, 2017)Wisconsin Statutes section 893.55
WyomingConstitutional provision prohibiting caps

United StatesWe handle and medical malpractice (usually birth injury) cases in other jurisdictions. This document is a cheat sheet we created for ourselves for figuring out whether a potential new case is limited by pain and suffering or hard damage caps. We just put this online because there are not a lot of good, updated summaries of the medical malpractice caps in all 50 states. We give you the chance to check our work by reading the relevant statute. You should double check all of these and look for some states, West Virginia is a good example, where the law is complex and requires some digging into other statutes that might be relevant to your case.

Frankly, the next summary we have to do is on states like New York and California that limit attorneys' fees in medical malpractice cases. There are so many birth injury cases that never see the light of day because of these awful caps on attorneys' fees. How do you convince a lawyer to risk over $200,000 in expenses to fund a case when she only gets 15% of the recovery over $600,000? You don't. The result is that many brain injured children never get a chance justice.

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