If a petition currently being circulated in the Golden State is eventually successful, California medical malpractice damage caps may soon be adjusted for inflation, something that has never been done since the caps were first enacted in 1975. The move would surpass Florida’s caps, leaving the Sunshine State trapped in the past with a cap on compensation for victims of medical negligence that is worth less and less every year.
If the consumer group Consumer Watchdog California can gather enough signatures on its petition, it will be able to get an initiative on the ballot at the next general election to increase the cap on noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases from $250,000 to over $1,000,000. According to the Consumer Price Index Inflation Calculator, the $250,000 put in place by the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act in 1975 is only worth around $57,000 today.
Florida law limits noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases to $500,000, although a jury may award up to one million dollars in limited circumstances, such as if the malpractice results in a permanent vegetative state or death, or if it would be manifestly unjust not to increase the award for a catastrophic injury that caused particularly severe harm. “Noneconomic damages” are defined under Florida law as nonfinancial losses such as pain and suffering, inconvenience, physical impairment, mental anguish, disfigurement, loss of capacity for enjoyment of life, and other non financial losses.
The Law Team at Fetterman & Associates strives to obtain the maximum compensation available that fairly compensates an injured person for both economic and non economic damages caused by the medical malpractice of a doctor, hospital or other health care provider.
If you have been injured by the medical negligence or incompetence of a Florida health care professional, contact Fetterman & Associates to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer at our offices in North Palm Beach and Port St. Lucie.