Preventable medical mistakes and errors cause approximately 440,000 deaths every year in the United States, making it the nation’s third leading cause of death behind only cancer and heart disease. Although mistakes and errors are made in any profession, medical negligence can seriously impact the life of the patient and even result in death.
Patients who are injured as a result of the medical negligence have the option of bringing a medical malpractice claim to recover compensation. Money damages will not undo the harm, but it will provide the victim with the necessary financial compensation to deal with the situation they are placed in. However, with the archaic cap placed on an injured patient’s ability to recover, victims of medical negligence are often unable to get the legal justice they deserve.
Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act: The Need for Change
In 1975, Governor Jerry Brown signed the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act into law, putting a cap of $250,000 on pain and suffering damages awarded to patients who were injured as a result of medical negligence. The Act does not consider the extent of the patient’s damages or how badly they are hurt.
This damage hits hardest those who are most seriously injured. Victims with the most devastating injuries, such as brain damage or permanent disfigurement, lose out more than individuals with lesser injuries. Additionally, damage caps make it harder for people who don’t have big economic losses to obtain legal justice. Attorneys are more likely to decline many meritorious cases in a severely capped environment because when a client’s recovery is reduced, their ability to make a living on the case is compromised.
Prop 46: An Opportunity to Make a Difference and Save Lives
Prop 46 provides, among other provisions, an increase from $250,000 to $1.1 million on California’s cap on noneconomic damages that are recoverable in medical malpractice cases. This reset is based on the rate of inflation. There has been much controversy around this proposition. However, four points stand out clearly:
- The damage cap singles out medical malpractice victims for inferior treatment by providing partial and incomplete recovery.
- The damage cap hits hardest the victims who are most seriously injured.
- The damage cap negatively influences the types of medical malpractice claims lawyers are willing to take.
- The lost access to legal justice may partially burden the disadvantage, which includes women, children and the elderly.
We Can Help
If you were injured as a result of the negligence or carelessness of a medical professional, you should contact a lawyer as you may be entitled to compensation. At the Law Offices of Samer Habbas, we have successfully handled thousands of medical malpractice cases and can get you the results that you deserve.
Call us at (888) 848-5084 to schedule a complimentary consultation with experienced Los Angeles medical malpractice attorney Samer Habbas today.