In 2004, Maryland’s General Assembly introduced the Quality Health Care Act of 2004. This act placed a $650,000 cap on non-economic damages for incidents occurring between January 1, 2005 and December 31, 2008. Beginning in 2009, this $650,000 cap increases annually by $15,000 making it $740,000 in 2014.
In the state of Maryland, a medical malpractice action must be filed within 3 years of the date the alleged injury was discovered, but no more than 5 years after the date the alleged injury occurred. For a minor, this statute is tolled, or does not begin to run until the claimant has reached the age of 11, unless the action involves a foreign object left in the body or an injury to the reproductive system, in which case the statute does not begin to run until the claimant is 16 years of age.
A wrongful death action must be brought by the deceased’s dependents or next of kin within 3 years after the death occurs and this does specifically apply to a wrongful death action brought on a medical malpractice theory.
The minimum liability limit for medical malpractice insurance in Maryland is $1,000,000 per occurrence and $3,000,000 per policy period. This liability limit is fairly common among states that have prescribed minimums.
Prior to Tort Reform in Maryland, physicians were experiencing escalating premiums for their medical professional liability insurance. This resulted in an unstable market and a situation where some carriers where withdrawing from the market altogether. It wasn’t until 2005 with the introduction of caps on non-economic damages that the medical malpractice insurance market really stabilized. In addition to the caps the state legislature created a temporary guarantee fund that insurers could opt into on certain conditions which subsidized high premiums from 2005-2008. By that time rates had declined and leveled off. Today, the market is stable and prices remain relatively even. It is a much better time to be in need of malpractice insurance in Maryland than it was a decade ago.
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