Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Law Blog

Iowa Panel Puts Limits on Damages in Fatal Medical Malpractice Cases

Posted by Briggs Bedigian | Feb 21, 2020 | 0 Comments

Last week, a Senate committee in Iowa voted to put new limits on the non-economic damages a victim's family receives after a loved one passes away due to medical malpractice. More specifically, the committee decided to cap those damages at $750,000, meaning some families might not get as much as they deserve after medical professionals cause or contribute to the death of a family member.

Why Some Want to Limit Compensation for Non-Economic Damages

Senators who voted for the compensation cap have tried to explain their decision by claiming that they're concerned about what unlimited non-economic damages could do to the medical community.

For instance, they've said they're worried that some doctors in Iowa might refuse to see high-risk patients in case they pass away during care. At that point, they could be sued for unlimited non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering. They might also decide not to perform high-risk procedures in case they get sued for a high amount of non-economic damages.

How This New Bill Could Hurt Families

On the other hand, those who are against capping non-economic damages are concerned about families that have lost loved ones due to medical malpractice. They say these families—including spouses and children of the deceased—might not get as much compensation as they should after losing a loved one.

In addition, caps like this one remove the right of a jury to determine the amount that the responsible party should pay the family. In some cases, families should be entitled to more than $750,000 in non-economic damages when a doctor or nurse makes a fatal mistake with a patient.

This isn't the first time there's been a cap on damages in Iowa. In 2017, the state's legislature voted to implement a $250,000 limit on damages for pain and suffering after doctors are found responsible for medical negligence. But that cap doesn't apply when a patient passes away.

What To Do When You Suspect Medical Malpractice

Fortunately, this cap doesn't apply to all states. So if you're not in Iowa or any other state with similar caps, you may have a chance of getting the compensation you deserve after a loved one dies from medical malpractice. But to get started, you'll need to contact a lawyer with experience with medical malpractice cases like yours.

When you hire a medical malpractice lawyer, you'll have the help of a legal team that can do the following for you:

  • Investigate the facts
  • Collect and analyze evidence
  • Determine which laws apply to your case
  • Negotiate strategically
  • Go to court and litigate on your behalf when necessary

If you suspect that medical malpractice has taken the life of a loved one, and you're ready to find out more about your options, contact a lawyer today. You can get a free consultation to discuss your case, giving your family a chance to get the compensation necessary after medical malpractice has led to the death of a family member.

About the Author

Briggs Bedigian

H. Briggs Bedigian (“Briggs”) is a founding partner of Gilman & Bedigian, LLC.  Prior to forming Gilman & Bedigian, LLC, Briggs was a partner at Wais, Vogelstein and Bedigian, LLC, where he was the head of the firm's litigation practice.  Briggs' legal practice is focused on representing clients involved in medical malpractice and catastrophic personal injury cases. 

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