California is one of several states that places upper limits on the amounts that victims of medical malpractice can receive for damages. The California law that does this is called the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA). Unfortunately, this law limits victims so that they sometimes cannot receive as much as they deserve for their California medical malpractice claim.
Nonetheless, victims can still assert their lawsuit up to the damages cap, and a California medical malpractice attorney can help.
In 1975, the California legislature enacted MICRA. Under this law, victims’ damages for non-economic losses are limited to $250,000. There is no cap for economic damages.
Unfortunately, this number has not been adjusted for inflation over the years—it remains the same amount since the 70s, even though $250,000 that year is likely more like $1.3 million today.
There are several types of damages available in medical malpractice claims. Some are considered “economic” while others are not. Economic damages include losses like:
The most common economic damages in medical malpractice cases are loss of wages and medical expenses.
Non-economic damages, then, are not connected to a quantifiable loss like economic damages. They include injuries such as:
All of these losses must be associated with a physical injury under California law, not just emotional or mental trauma.
Because of how California law limits non-economic damages, it is especially important for victims to present concrete evidence regarding their economic losses. Of course, talking about non-economic damages is important too, but estimating your future economic losses correctly is going to be vital. Your California medical malpractice lawyer will be able to help you gather the information you need to present this information.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a medical malpractice lawsuit, you need legal help. A California medical malpractice attorney will be able to help you gather information and data to present a realistic picture of all of your damages so that a jury or insurance company can appreciate the real value of your claim, regardless of the MICRA damage cap. Call Mancini & Associates for more information or to schedule an appointment.