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Medical malpractice Laws in California | Limitations on Recovery


Injuries due to medical malpractice are rampant in the state of California.  However unlike other personal injury causes of action for injuries and damages suffered due to the negligence of another party the state of California enforces a Cap on the amount of damages can receive.   In 1970’s under the persistent pressure of insurance companies the state legislature place a cap on all non-economic damages resulting from medical malpractice.  Under California Civil Code 333.2 non economic damages (ie payment for pain and suffering, impairment, disfigurement, and other non-pecuniary damages) is capped at $250,000. However economic damages do not face this restriction and individual can recover for pecuniary losses bases on an itemization of the monetary losses suffered resulting from medical malpractice. For decades, Medical malpractice lawyers, trial lawyers and patients rights advocates, and most importantly patients themselves have called for an elimination of the cap because it presents the greatest obstruction to a patient rights in the state of California. Others have called for an increase in the $250,000 cap put in place in the 1970’s since inflation over the past 40 years has results in the $250,000 amount, in nominal inflation adjusted current prices, to be a mere fraction of the amount agreed to by California’s legislature.

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