Getting injured when you’re at the hospital or a doctor’s office can make you feel neglected or like your doctors just didn’t care. In Florida, to seek a malpractice lawsuit, you would have had to go through the trouble of court just to be told that there was a cap on the amount of money you could be awarded for your pain and suffering. Now, that cap has been voided. According to the Florida Supreme Court, the law that established a $1 million cap on medical malpractice cases had to be voided.
A cap on medical malpractice awards isn’t fair for those who have suffered injuries. Without knowing those people and seeing what they’ve gone through, it’s hard to know how much money they will need for care or how seriously their injuries have affected their lives. With medical malpractice caps, no matter what a jury awards a victim, the judge would have to reduce the amount to the state’s cap. So, even if the jury determines that the circumstances require a higher payout, that victim won’t receive it.
There are 35 states in the U.S. that have laws that place a cap on non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases. In California, the limit is $250,000 on non-economic damages. These limits essentially are in place to limit how much a person can get for “pain and suffering,” not their medical bills.
According to the article, some people believe that the caps should be in place, because the state would then know exactly how much a person could get for “pain and suffering” awards and eliminate ridiculously high payouts. However, others have argued that a system that has a single cap won’t work. Why? The cap overrules the jury, and that’s not something that is normally done in a court.
Source: Consumer Eagle, “Medical Malpractice Caps Voided in Florida” Stephan Westlake, Apr. 20, 2014