Girardi | Keese

Possible cap increase on medical malpractice damages

Every year, medical malpractice lawsuits are filed in courtrooms from one side of the country to the next. Each state has its own laws regarding how these cases move forward, including a cap on some damages.

In the state of California, this may be changing at some point in the near future. Right now, there is a battle in the state regarding medical malpractice damages. Soon enough, residents of the state could find themselves in position to vote on an initiative that would increase the cap on pain and suffering damages. At this time, there is a $250,000 cap on pain and suffering damages. This number has been the same since 1975 when it was signed into law, however, many believe it is time for an increase.

Those who back the initiative are hoping that the cap for pain and suffering damages in medical malpractice cases could be increased by as much as four times. Backers also hope that the initiative will be able to make its way onto the November 2014 ballot, meaning that a change could be coming in approximately one year.

The same initiative is looking to make other changes to state law, including the fact that doctors should have to undergo drug and alcohol testing. Attorney General Kamala Harris is backing the initiative, and has discussed both points.

As you can imagine, medical malpractice attorneys and doctors have different ideas on how the initiative should move forward. Attorneys would enjoy having the cap lifted, while doctors are fighting against this. Anybody who has been injured due to the negligence of a medical professional has the right to contact an attorney to explore the idea of filing a lawsuit.

Capital Public Radio, "Initiative Would Raise Cap on Medical Malpractice Damages" Ben Adler, Nov. 11, 2013

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