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What is Damage Cap? 

There is a cap on damages in California only in cases of medical malpractice. Regardless of how badly the victim was injured, they can only recover $250,000 for non-economic damages. In addition to economic damages, non-economic damages may include pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and enjoyment of life.

Damage Caps For Personal Injury Cases

Damage Caps For Personal Injury Cases 

Personal injury cases in California generally do not have damage caps. One exception, however, applies: medical malpractice claims are limited in

non-economic damages to $250,000. Compensation for losses is limited by a damage cap. Even if the victim has suffered severe injuries and

deserves much more, the cap restricts what the victim can receive.


Personal injury cases in California generally have no damage caps. Injuries suffered in car accidents, assaults and battery, slips and falls, product

defects, or dog bites are among the personal injury cases with no damage caps.

If victims are eligible for this compensation, they can recover their full compensation for their injuries.

A few exceptions exist, however, such as medical malpractice claims. The California legislature has specifically targeted lawsuits of this type for a

damage cap. In California, the damage cap limits non-economic damages to $250,000 for medical malpractice victims. Medical Injury

Compensation Reform Act, or MICRA, sets this cap on medical malpractice damages. In 1975, this tort reform act was passed.

Medical Malpractice

Medical Malpractice

In a personal injury lawsuit, medical malpractice is alleged. Healthcare providers are liable if they are negligent in rendering medical care for which

they are licensed to do so. Medical professionals and their medical institutions may be held liable for injuries and wrongful deaths caused by

medical negligence. Patients can file medical malpractice lawsuits against them. An individual medical professional or the institution where the

medical professional works can be sued for malpractice. A potential defendant could be a doctor, nurse, hospital, doctor's office, pharmacist,

pharmacy, anesthesiologist, psychologist, and lab.


Medical malpractice includes a variety of situations, including failing to diagnose a readily diagnosable illness, doing surgery on the wrong body

part, operating on the wrong patient, administering the wrong medication, and leaving surgical equipment inside the patient.

The consequences of these malpractices are often severe or even life-threatening. There are even instances of death. California has a controversial

law that limits non-economic damages to $250,000 for victims.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-Economic Damages

Accident victims may be compensated with non-economic damages. This covers their pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of quality of life,

loss of consortium for their families, emotional trauma from disfigurement, and a reduction in the enjoyment of life.

Legal damages can be classified as either compensatory damages or punitive damages under California law.

Victims of a wrongful act are entitled to reimbursement damages, which will make them whole once again. Accident victims receive compensation

for all of the ways in which they have been harmed. Punitive damages may be awarded in cases based on wrongful conduct specifically. However,

they are rare in cases based on accidents that were caused by the defendant's negligence. Compensation damages can be further divided into two

categories: economic damages and non-economic damages.


Damages based on economic losses compensate victims for losses most easily quantifiable. Bills or receipts typically cover these charges. The

compensation would cover the victim's medical bills, in addition to reasonable anticipated future medical expenses, lost income, and lost earning

capacity, as well as property damage.

Physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, emotional distress due to the injured patient's impairments, and loss of consortium are all

non-economic damages that compensate the victim for things that are hard to quantify.

The amount of a victim's noneconomic damage can often exceed the amount of his or her economic damage, particularly in cases of severe

medical malpractice. A victim's non-economic losses are estimated via the "multiplier method" by personal injury attorneys. By this method, all

economic damages of the victim are added up. In order to estimate the non-economic damage award, this number is multiplied by one to five.

An attorney will use a higher number if the victim has suffered severe injuries.


Using the multiplier method illustrates the difficulty of predicting a jury's reaction to your claim based on the wide range used for the multiplier

method. Personal injury cases are notoriously inconsistent when it comes to pain and suffering damages awarded by juries. In California medical

malpractice cases, however, the large numbers demonstrate the controversy surrounding non-economic damage caps.

MICRA Damage Cap

MICRA Damage Cap 

The $250k damage cap in California under the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA) on non-economic damages in medical

malpractice claims is controversial for a number of reasons. It is not adjusted for inflation, it is lower than similar damages caps in nearly every

other state, it originated with the so-called "tort reform" movement lobbied by insurance companies and physicians, and it prevents victims from

recovering their full compensation. California's Supreme Court, however, has ruled the damage cap constitutional.

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