While we believe that the following information regarding the medical malpractice laws in the various states of the United States was accurate when written, laws in various states do change over time and you should not rely on the information below but rather seek the advice of a knowledgeable and competent medical malpractice lawyer in your state regarding the current and relevant medical malpractice laws in your state. The information below is for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice and should not be relied upon as legal advice.

Noneconomic damages are limited to $350,000, no matter how many defendants. The statute of limitations is two years from the incident or two years from the discovery of a foreign object, two years from the date of reasonable discovery for the negligent failure to inform a patient regarding the results of a medical test; for minors, until the 20th birthday. In no case, longer than 10 years from injury. There is modified joint and several liability (if the defendant is found to be 51% or greater at fault, then there is joint and several liability; if less than 51% at fault, the defendant is liable for that percentage of the judgment that the defendant has been determined to be at fault, with some specified exceptions. There is no limit on attorney fees. Periodic payments will be ordered by the court, upon request of a party before judgment is entered, if future damages awarded exceed $100,000. There is no requirement for pre-trial alternative dispute resolution or screening panel. An affidavit must be filed stating that the claimant has obtained a written opinion from a qualified expert that the defendant breached the standard of care that a reasonably competent health care provider would have provided under similar circumstances and that the breach caused or directly contributed to the claimant’s injury.

In its written opinion filed on July 31, 2012, the Supreme Court of Missouri held “that section 538.210 [Missouri’s $350,000 statutory cap on noneconomic damages] is unconstitutional to the extent that it infringes on the jury’s constitutionally protected purpose of determining the amount of damages sustained by an injured party. Such a limitation was not permitted at common law when Missouri’s constitution first was adopted in 1820 and, therefore, violates the right to trial by jury guaranteed by article I, section 22(a) of the Missouri Constitution.”

On May 7, 2015, the Governor of Missouri signed into law caps on noneconomic damages in Missouri medical malpractice cases after a three-year lapse following the Missouri Supreme Court finding that the prior medical malpractice cap was unconstitutional because the flat $350,000 cap violated the constitutional right to have a jury decide Missouri common law claims (when Missouri’s Constitution was adopted in 1820, there was a right to a jury trial in cases such as medical malpractice claims).