Are There Personal Injury Damage Caps in North Carolina?
Like many other states, North Carolina has placed caps, or limits, on certain damage awards that injured plaintiffs can recover through the legal system.
In North Carolina, there are no caps on the amount of economic damages one can recover in a personal injury case, whether from a slip and fall accident or a car crash. In other words, plaintiffs can seek compensation for their actual monetary harms, regardless if this amounts to $25,000 or $250,000 (or any other evidence-based amount). Economic damages are expenses that are easily and quantified, such as lost wages, medical and hospital expenses, loss of future earnings, cost of domestic services, and other out-of-pocket costs.
In any personal injury case, punitive damages are capped at the equivalent of three times the amount of economic damages awarded, or $250,000, whichever figure is higher. It’s worth noting that drunk driving claims are an exception to this NC damage cap rule.
IMPORTANT: If you’ve been injured because of another’s negligent actions and have questions about damages available, at Riddle & Brantley, we are ready to help. Please call 1-800-525-7111 for a FREE, no-obligation consultation with an experienced North Carolina personal injury lawyer. We believe Justice Counts.
Economic vs. Non-economic Damages
Unlike economic damages, non-economic damages are more complex to calculate and assign a dollar amount. In North Carolina, non-economic damages can include:
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of activities
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium and companionship
Non-economic damages may be subjective, but they are still critical to making an injured plaintiff “whole” again. It’s one thing to get reimbursed for medical expenses to treat a traumatic brain injury, but what about the mental anguish and inconvenience of dealing with such a debilitating trauma? Fortunately, North Carolina does not cap the amount of non-economic damages in typical personal injury cases.
Damage Caps Exception in NC Medical Malpractice Cases
Unlike in personal injury cases, in North Carolina, there are caps placed on non-economic damages recovered in medical malpractice lawsuits. These are outlined in Statute § 90-21.19. According to the legislation, which was enacted in 2011, the total amount of non-economic damages a plaintiff can recover from defendants cannot exceed $500,000. The purpose of this damage cap is to prevent the filing of frivolous lawsuits against health care professionals.
***PLEASE NOTE: Riddle & Brantley does not handle medical malpractice cases in North Carolina.
Contact Our Team of North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers
Compensation in injury cases is designed to provide monetary relief to injured parties while holding defendants liable. Whether seeking compensatory damages for lost income or reparations for emotional pain and suffering, your choice of legal counsel matters.
Our skilled North Carolina personal injury lawyers boast more than 220+ years of combined experience and are proud to offer dedicated legal representation on a contingency basis. This means there are absolutely no attorney fees unless we recover compensation for you.
For a FREE, no-obligation consultation with us, call 1-800-525-7111 or complete the online form below.
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