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Proposal To Increase California Medical Malpractice Caps Qualifies For Ballot

San Francisco news reports that the critical initiative – "38 is too late" that seeks to increase the medical malpractice cap on noneconomic damages will be placed on November's ballot. More than 840,000 Californian's signed the petition, allowing this issue to go to the voters. Set at $250,000 in 1975 by the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA), the existing medical malpractice cap limits the amount a patient can recover after suffering harm due to medical negligence.

Because this cap is low, and has not been adjusted for inflation, many deserving patients are effectively denied their day in court because the cost to obtain justice for their injuries is just too high. In certain situations – such as for children or the elderly – where a large percentage of their recovery comes from "non-economic" damages, the costs in litigating a medical malpractice case compared to the maximum recovery allowed make it infeasible to bring a lawsuit.

The California birth injury attorneys at Bostwick & Peterson are dedicated to helping victims of medical malpractice and have years of experience helping those families who have suffered harm obtain the compensation they deserve.

In an effort to increase the cap from set by MICRA from $250,000 to $1.1 million, patient's rights advocates and representatives of those injured as the result of medical errors, have qualified the ballot initiative for November's ballot. Far too often the current limit impedes a deserving patient's ability to be fairly compensated. By removing or adjusting the caps, more patients would be able to recover the compensation they deserve for injuries that may cause a lifetime of harm. For example in birth injury cases, a child may be able to recover little in the way of "economic damages," but may have suffered catastrophic harm. Removing barriers to recovery allows the child to receive fair compensation.

While supporters of caps often claim that limits are needed because large medical malpractice payouts lead to rising health care costs, this is a myth. Study after study has concluded that large payouts make up less that 1% of all medical payments in the U.S.. Instead, several complicated factors lead to rising health care costs unrelated to medical malpractice lawsuits. Among these factors include insurance practices aimed at increasing profits.

Hopefully this ballot initiative will raise awareness of the critical need to eliminate the cap and allow those harmed by medical malpractice to collect the compensation they deserve.

For more information about the initiative to eliminate caps or if you or a loved one has been injured as the result of a medical mistake, please contact the dedicated California medical malpractice attorneys at Bostwick & Peterson, LLP for an immediate consultation.

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