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Californians May Be Entitled To More Compensation For Malpractice Pain And Suffering

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Sacramento, CA — California doctors and trial attorneys have agreed to increase the amount of money people can win in medical malpractice lawsuits, but now the legislature has to approve it.

Legislative leaders and Gov. Gavin Newsom have already thrown their support behind a new bill that would gradually increase the limit over the next 10 years. The bill also has the support of the California Medical Association, the Consumer Attorneys of California, and Californians Allied for Patient Protection.

“This is an important victory for the stability and health of our health care system, and for patients across California,” stated Newsom.

Currently, California limits damages for pain and suffering to $250,000. The bill would increase that to $350,000 for injured patients and $500,000 for the families of patients who die. Those amounts would gradually increase until 2033, capping them at $750,000 for injured patients and $1 million for families of patients who die. After that, the limits would increase 2% each year to account for inflation. Those amounts could go up if applied individually to medical providers and institutions or if there is a third provider or institution unaffiliated with the first two.

Proponents argue that gradually raising the limit over 10 years makes sure medical malpractice insurance premiums don’t rise too quickly for doctors. If it becomes law, the limits would only apply to malpractice cases filed after Jan. 1.