Also known as medical negligence, medical malpractice occurs when a health care providers such as a doctor, hospital, nurse, chiropractor, etc. falls below the accepted standard of practice in the medical community and causes injury or death to the patient.
In California, medical malpractice cases are highly regulated, and there are “caps” on certain damages the injured person may obtain. Malpractice cases are among the most vigorously defended cases by insurance companies for doctors and hospitals and other health care providers.
In the mid-1970s, in response to a perceived medical liability insurance crisis, the California Legislature passed certain laws which, collectively, are known as the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA). Under MICRA, there is a limit of $250,000 for pain and suffering damages sustained by an injured party. Unfortunately, this $250,000 limit for pain and suffering damages means that even if the jury finds that the injured party should receive $5 million for his or her pain and suffering, the judge is required to reduce the jury’s award to the $250,000 limit. While you may think that $250,000 is not a small sum of money, the MICRA law is not indexed for inflation, and what $250,000 was worth in the 1970s when the law was passed, is now worth less than $70,000 in today’s dollars.
Unfortunately, victims of healthcare providers’ medical mistakes, which can cause people extreme pain and anguish in their lives, often find it difficult to find legal representation for their legitimate claims because of the limitations that have been placed on damages in medical malpractice cases in California under MICRA. Typically, medical malpractice cases require substantial expenditures of money in order for the case to be handled properly. These expenditures are for things such as expert fees, deposition costs, trial exhibits, research, etc. It is not uncommon for a case to require expenditures in excess of $100,000, and sometimes far greater than that. If the injured person’s damages are insufficient to justify those sort of expenses, it may be extremely difficult for the injured individual to obtain effective (or even ineffective) representation. This is true even though the injured individual may have a perfectly good case. Regrettably, the issue of limitations on damages due to a health care provider’s negligence, is one that has become highly politicized throughout the United States.
The Law Firm of Martin P. Weniz has extensive experience in medical malpractice lawsuits, and will tenaciously fight to enforce your legal rights and pursue fair and adequate compensation for your injuries. Call us toll free for a free consultation at 1-866-441-4446. We also handle many other types of negligence cases, including malpractice cases, automobile accident cases, premises liability cases, spinal injury cases, etc.. All our cases are taken on a contingency basis, so we don’t get paid unless we successfully resolve your case, whether by settlement or trial. We give you the personal attention you deserve for your medical malpractice case.