Medical malpractice claims have typically been capped at a certain amount, which may have saved doctors and hospitals a significant amount in the payment of some damages. Now, California may be adjusting the cap and raising it to $1.1 million for hospital negligence and medical malpractice. The previous cap amount for noneconomic damages was set at $250,000 back in 1975.
Patients who suffer injuries at the hands of a medical professional usually endure a vast amount of pain and suffering along with mental anguish. Victims may have a greater sense of relief if a measure is put in place to increase the amount paid out in medical negligence suits. The measure is still circulating and awaiting a number of signatures. This could have a powerful impact on doctors and medical facilities, and the Medical Association in California is battling this new ballot measure.
Supporters of the new policy have stated that the current state cap for medical damages is inadequate for malpractice victims. It has even been said that it discourages some attorneys from taking on new cases. Another new policy would also require doctors to undergo alcohol and drug testing.
It is the duty of medical staff to exercise due care to any patient in their care. Hospital negligence can cause a significant amount of injuries, and patients who have been injured due to medical errors may be entitled to pursue medical malpractice claims under California law. In those cases where malpractice is established to the satisfaction of the court adjudicating the issues, victims may be compensated for pain and suffering along with actual economic damage they have and may well continue to suffer. If the cap is raised, injured, those victims may find additional financial relief.
Source: AirTalk, New proposed ballot measure would lift cap medical malpractice damages, No author, Nov. 4, 2013