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FMG Law Blog Line

Caps on Medical Malpractice Awards- How Much is Too much?

Posted on: August 5th, 2014

By: Taryn M. Kadar

Monetary caps on medical malpractice awards are commonplace in many states throughout the country. In today’s highly litigious environment, these monetary caps help limit the exposure a doctor or hospital may have in a medical malpractice suit. While some states such as Florida and Georgia have declared non-economic caps on damages to be unconstitutional, states such as California are currently considering whether to raise the cap on medical malpractice awards from $250,000 to $1.1 million. This significant raise ensures that both patient advocates and health care professionals will have a hand in the debate.

Patient advocates argue that raising the cap will help deter medical negligence. While opponents believe that a higher cap will raise healthcare costs and limit patient access to care. Further, doctors in California would need to spend more on medical malpractice insurance which may also hinder patient care.

How would this significant raise in the monetary cap amount impact the medical community in California? It is up to California residents to decide, as the issue has been approved for the ballot in November 2014. However, the debate is an important one, as other states may follow suit and consider raising its medical malpractice award caps.

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