Californians may find a medical malpractice lawsuit issue on the ballot at the voting in November 2020. A petition is currently circulating in the house aiming to gather enough signatures for the measure to make it to the ballot. The number of signatures required amounts to 5% of the number of votes cast in the most recent gubernatorial election.
Possible changes to damages available in medical malpractice lawsuits
Known as the California Changes to Medical Malpractice Cap Initiative, this change would significantly increase the cap for catastrophic injuries in a medical malpractice lawsuit. The cap on these types of damages has not increased with inflation since 1975, when it was first enacted. The current cap is $250,000. This ballot measure would increase it to approximately $1.2 million beginning in 2021, with an annual adjustment based on inflation going forward. These damages could be awarded for catastrophic injuries such as death, permanent disfigurement or permanent disability, among others. This could make a huge difference for survivors of medical malpractice and their loved ones.
Leading the initiative are The Fairness for Injured Patients Act Coalition, along with strong support from Consumer Watchdog and former U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer. In addition to increasing the award cap, it will also extend statutes of limitation on medical malpractice.
The importance of seeking help immediately
Medical malpractice cases are extremely complex and time consuming matters. These types of cases almost always involve significant amounts of compensation, and are notoriously difficult. Choosing the right attorney is crucial. If you or a loved one have been harmed by the actions of a medical professional, it is very important to consult with legal counsel as soon as possible.