This weekend I read a report about a 12-year old child who had been rendered paraplegic by a Maryland police officer en route to a non-emergency. The driver was going twice the speed limit for the particular road, when the child ran across the street. The driver was convicted of speeding. The case settled for $400,000, the limit Maryland law imposes on such cases.
This is a good example of an arbitrary damage cap imposed by the state legislature (Virginia has the same concept) for wrongful conduct compensation. The District of Columbia has no such arbitrary limit. These limits are the result of lobbying from various factions, including insurance companies and medical societies, and the failure of the legislatures to examine the underlying facts.
The result of this sort of arbitrary cap is shifting the responsibility of life long care from the wrongdoer to the victim. This child is going to wind up supported by the taxpayers when his settlement money runs out. Similarly, we saw a March on Richmond, where a bunch of doctors in their white coats demonstrated for limits on damages in medical malpratice cases. The reason their malpractice insurance premiums have increased so much is due to the stock market, not out of control juries. Despite this, the legislators pander to their contributors and impose these limits. If you lose the lottery of life and are injured by a wrongdoer through no fault of your own, you may be denied the amount the jury, who heard all of the evidence, believes you deserve. It’s sad but true.
If you need to speak to a car crash attorney now, call John Thyden at 301-907-4580.