How Does MICRA Affect Medical Malpractice in California?
Compared to those in other states, medical malpractice cases in California are often handled somewhat differently due to fairly unique laws which severely restrict the amount of money that a victim of medical malpractice can receive as a compensation for his or her injuries. One of the most controversial pieces of medical malpractice legislation in the state is called the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act, or MICRA, and was passed in 1975. The Act did a number of things, virtually all of them meant to limit and reduce the amount that the doctors and their insurance companies are required to pay to victims of malpractice.
The main component of MICRA that continues to affect victims of malpractice is the restricting of the amount of general (or noneconomic) damages that a victim of malpractice may receive as a result of medical malpractice. The limit was set at the time of the law's passage, and restricts malpractice compensation to maximum of $250,000. With no provisions included in the law for inflation, or the increasing costs of medical procedures, the cap has not been raised in MICRA's 40 year existence.
In addition to the financial impact such a limit may have on a injured patient, one of the unforeseen consequences of the limit is its effect on a injured party's ability to retain qualified counsel. Experienced medical malpractice attorneys typically work on a contingency fee basis, and with the maximum recovery already clearly defined by law, many attorneys may be reluctant to accept a difficult case. They may see their potential fee as relatively small compared to the amount of effort and time investment the case may require.
If you have any question concerning the merits of a malpractice lawsuit and whether or not the injuries sustained and the types of damages that you are entitled to are worth pursuing based on the laws in the state of California, contact an experienced San Jose medical malpractice attorney. We will review the circumstances of your case and the types of damages to which you may be entitled, and help you determine if it would be reasonable to pursue such a case. If you or a loved one have suffered from medical malpractice, and you'd like to speak to an experienced attorney, please contact the law firm of Corsiglia McMahon & Allard, L.L.P, for a consultation today at (408) 289-1417.