Injured By A Doctor? Rules For Bringing A Medical Malpractice Lawsuit In North Dakota

If you have been injured due to the incompetence or mistake of a medical professional or medical establishment in North Dakota, you are entitled to financial compensation. The job of a personal injury lawyer is to make sure you get this compensation with as little hassle as possible, and that you get the full amount you are due under the law. Talking to a personal injury lawyer should be one of the first things you do after your injury, so you can discuss the specifics of your case, and how much compensation you are likely to receive.

Be aware that different states have different laws regarding medical malpractice cases. These are the rules your lawyer will be working within during the course of your North Dakota medical malpractice case.

1. There is No Joint and Several Liability in North Dakota Medical Malpractice Cases

Many states include joint and several liability in medical malpractice cases. This means that if more than one person or entity is involved in your lawsuit (such as a doctor and a medical center, or two different doctors), they are treated separately. This means they are both equally responsible for paying your award, if you get one. If one party cannot pay it, the other party becomes wholly responsible.

This is not the case in North Dakota. Both parties (or all parties, if there are more than two) are always responsible for paying any award given to you. The entire award will never be placed on the shoulders of just one person or entity.

2. Payments Made to You By Other Sources May Offset Your Award in Court

Some states do not allow defendants in medical malpractice to ask to reduce the amount they must pay based on money you may have already received from other sources (such as the plaintiff's insurance, disability payments, etc.). North Dakota does allow this. If you receive money from other sources than the defendants before you go to court, your award may be reduced by the amount you received. The exceptions to this are life insurance, retirement income, and other types of insurance that you purchased on your own.

3. There Are Limits to the Total Amount of Money the Court Can Award You

Like many states, North Dakota has a cap on the amount of money you can be awarded in a medical malpractice case. These limits are meant to discourage juries from making monetary awards that are disproportionate to the injury received.

According to, your award for pain and suffering (also known as a non-economic award) cannot exceed $500,000. The non-economic award cap is the most common one across the country. North Dakota takes it a step further by making economic awards (those awarded for lost wages) subject to review by the court if they are more than $250,000.

This means that if the jury decides the wages you lost (or will lose over your lifetime) due to your injury are worth more than $250,000, the judge can give this award additional scrutiny to be sure it is appropriate. Sometimes it is, especially for very serious medical malpractice injuries. Sometimes it is not, such as if the injury is minor or will heal in time.


A medical malpractice lawsuit is a serious thing, and one most people would not undertake lightly. These cases can take a long time to go through the courts, and the details of what went wrong with the doctor or medical facility are scrutinized very closely. If you decide to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit, your personal injury attorney will know you were really injured.

Working within the confines of North Dakota law, your attorney will do everything possible to get you the highest award to which the laws of the state entitle you. Try visiting to find a personal injury lawyer to talk to about your medical malpractice lawsuit today.