You may have heard that South Carolina has a cap or a limit on monetary compensation that can be awarded to an individual harmed as a result of a healthcare provider’s malpractice. While South Carolina is one of several states that places certain limits on compensation, the cap does not apply in most situations. South Carolina law places a $350,000 cap on noneconomic damages for each health care provider found liable in a lawsuit. South Carolina law does not cap economic damages.
- Noneconomic damages refers to compensation for pain and suffering, emotional distress, and the loss of enjoyment of life.
- Economic damages refers to compensation for past and future medical care, lost income, and lost future earning capacity.
The $350,000 cap is per provider held responsible. Therefore, if two providers were held liable (e.g. an anesthesiologist and a surgeon), noneconomic damages would be capped at $350,000 x 2, or $700,000. Regardless of the number of providers held liable, noneconomic compensation in the state of South Carolina is capped at $1.05 million.
The cap on noneconomic damages does not affect the amount of damages recoverable for economic damages. In most cases, economic damages account for a larger portion of total damages. Under South Carolina law, economic damages are not capped.