Recently congress passed legislation seeking to limit the amount of damages victims of medical malpractice could receive as compensation for their pain and suffering. This bill is similar to California's Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA), which limits damages on pain and suffering. The bill seeks to make such caps federal law.
Such attempts are misguided and only serve to further harm the patients who were victims of medical mistakes to begin with. Medical malpractice lawsuits serve to compensate those injured by the negligent conduct of doctors, nurses, hospital staff or other health care professionals. Limiting the amount a jury may award them deprives these individuals of full and fair compensation. Further, the rationale provided for such limitations is often baseless. For example, proponents may assert that the caps are necessary to keep the costs of medical insurance down. However, statistics show that limiting damages has not translated into savings. Additionally, proponents argue that the caps are necessary to restrain runaway juries. However, the average jury verdict for a medical malpractice case is roughly $400,000, and in a bench trial (where the judge decides) the award is closer to $600,000. Allowing juries to decide, without restriction, provides a necessary check on the health care system.
We strongly support patient’s right to full and fair compensation without arbitrary limitations.
For more information, or if you have been harmed by a medical error, please contact the dedicated Los Angeles medical malpractice lawyers at Bostwick & Peterson, LLP for an immediate consultation.