Girardi | Keese

The possibility for medical malpractice change in California

In a perfect world, medical malpractice lawsuits would never be a concern. However, this is not a perfect world and people run into issues with medical providers from time to time. As a result, lawsuits are often filed.

Medical malpractice has been a topic of interest in California over the past few months, with a measure on the state's November ballot to raise the cap on medical malpractice lawsuits. This would include an increase on non-economic damages.

In short, voters are going to be the ones making the decision. They will have to decide if harm from pain and suffering as a result of medical malpractice should be limited to the current cap of $250,000 or increased to $1.1 million. This is a big change that would not only alter the way that lawsuits are handled, but would change the medical industry as a whole.

Those who are opposed to the increase believe that this change would cost the California health care system billions of dollars. Backing this up, a study by Californians Allied for Patient Protection showed that simply doubling the cap would add $9.5 billion to health care costs every year.

On the other side of the equation, there are those, such as attorneys, who feel that the cap on non-economic medical damages should be increased to ensure that victims can recover additional compensation.

This argument will continue for the next few months, but will then come to some sort of resolution in November. The people of California are now in charge of making this important decision regarding medical malpractice lawsuit compensation.

Source: Southern California Public Radio, "Should California raise the bar for medical malpractice?" No author given, Mar. 28, 2014

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