50 New NC Laws Went Into Effect This Month

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- Changes to medical malpractice rules and awards, rulemaking by state agencies and looser helmet rules for ATV riders are among more than 50 new laws now being enforced in North Carolina.

Victims of alleged medical negligence who file lawsuits starting Saturday will be limited to $500,000 in "non-economic damages" -- things like pain, suffering and injuries such as lost body parts -- if they win a case. There's still no limit on payments for medical bills, lost wages and other monetary losses.

Regulatory changes taking effect make clear environmental rules can't be more restrictive than corresponding federal regulations. State agencies also must review rules annually and repeal those considered unduly burdensome.

Adults driving all-terrain vehicles on private property also don't have to wear a helmet and eye protection.