Understanding Damage Caps in Personal Injury Cases
Personal injury cases are brought, as you know so that you can receive compensation for things like lost income at work, payment for your medical treatment that you have had to pay out of pocket thus far, and more. You may think that the possibilities are endless; however, all damages are limited. If they weren’t, defendants would be able to ask for huge amounts that cover more than just what they intended to pay for.
As of 2016, California has implemented its own rules dealing with damage caps. The state has a $250,000 damage cap for noneconomic damages. However, there is no cap on the amount of money that a defendant is able to receive for medical care due to cases of medical malpractice. That means that, if you have a medical malpractice case due to the negligence of a party, you are able to ask for any amount of money to cover certain aspects of your care. In fact, many states have rules that follow various guidelines. In Colorado, for instance, there is a $1 million cap on the amount of compensation you can receive. In Ohio, there is a $500,000 damage cap set on medical malpractice cases. It just depends on the state where you reside and what laws they have decided.
Why Do Caps Exist?
When damage caps are considered, two different types of damages become limited: non-economic and punitive. Non-economic damages are damages that are not easy to apply a specific amount of money too. Punitive damages, on the other hand, ate damages that are not designed to compensate a person due to their injuries, but rather to punish wrongdoing and deter parties and companies from engaging in wrongdoing in the future.
One of the positive aspects of cases is that, depending on the circumstances, damage caps can be overturned. This has been seen in a variety of cases depending on what has happened in your case. Some courts have found that damage caps are unconstitutional. You may have heard that your state sets damage caps in cases but, if a healthcare provider or another type of party has acted in gross negligence and caused you serious injuries, you may be looking at other options and have a right to more in damages.
Let’s take a look at an example: Let’s say that you are a person who has a severe allergic reaction to a certain type of medication. You go to your doctor and tell them that you are suffering from complications and they administer a certain type of medicine to you after they have taken a closer look at your symptoms. You go home and take the medicine, unbeknownst to you that they gave you the exact medication that you are allergic to. If this happens, the judge in your case could look at your case and agree that gross negligence has taken place, because any reasonable physician should have known to take a look at your chart and determine that you are allergic to this medicine.
As you can see, damage caps exist for a reason, so that cases don’t become unfair. But sometimes, it seems fairer for a cap to be lifted. No matter what, it is important to speak to an experienced attorney based on your unique circumstances, as you could be entitled to more than you were told was possible. At The Los Angeles Injury Group, we can help you in the midst of your case and help you get the compensation you’re entitled to. Call us today for a free consultation at 310-954-7248.