Is there a Cap on Medical Malpractice Liability in California?

You have the right to expect a high standard of care anytime a doctor or healthcare provider treats you. Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor or provider’s negligence of a patient’s treatment causes them harm. Examples include mistakes in treatment or improper diagnoses. Filing a medical malpractice claim holds the doctor accountable for their actions or inactions.

There is a specific deadline, a certain number of years, for filing any medical malpractice lawsuit against a healthcare provider. This deadline is the statute of limitations. Once the statute of limitations on a case “runs out”, the claim is no longer valid.

California’s statute of limitations to file a medical malpractice lawsuit is 3 years from the date of one’s injury, or one year from the date the injury was discovered or should have been discovered. There are some exceptions to the statute of limitations depending on the status of a minor or on other circumstances of the case.

The Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA) of 1975 tried to lower any medical malpractice liability and place a limit on the amount of damages a victim can recover from a claim. Non-economic damages, or damages related to pain and suffering or any loss of enjoyment of life, are capped at $250,000. Depending on the overall settlement amount, there is also a limit on the fees attorneys can recover.

If someone is successful in their medical malpractice lawsuit, they can be paid in full upfront or in the form of periodic payments. Periodic payments are established under California statutory laws, and allow healthcare providers to pay their victims’ awards over time.

If you were seriously injured, due to a doctor’s or healthcare provider’s negligence, call our attorneys for a free consultation and case evaluation. An attorney can help victims recover damages for their injuries including medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost income.

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