Efficient And Effective Business Litigation

Recent changes to California’s laws attract insurers’ attention

On Behalf of | Dec 5, 2022 | Business Litigation |

Those who provide insurance coverage to doctors and hospitals in this state may be aware that California’s lawmakers recently changed the state’s cap on the amount injured patients can recover in medical malpractice cases.

The new law is a compromise between healthcare officials and those who represent the interests of injured patients. The compromise avoids a vote on a more drastic ballot initiative that patient advocacy groups put forward.

With the compromise, the ballot measure did not come to a public vote.

Currently, patients can claim up to $250,000 in what the law calls non-economic damages. This term refers to compensation for things like pain and suffering or emotional distress.

Under the compromise measure, a patient can receive up to $350,000 starting next year. The amount will gradually increase over 10 years until it reaches $750,000. After that, it will automatically increase by 2% annually.

Furthermore, patients will be able to receive non-economic damages, up to new the $350,000 cap, both from a provider and negligent medical facility.

Higher caps will be available when a patient dies from alleged medical malpractice.

The new law makes no changes to the current rule that injured patients or their families can recover all of their economic losses like lost income and necessary out-of-pocket expenses.

Insurers should be prepared to defend their policyholders

This change is a good opportunity for organizations which insure medical providers against malpractice claims to review their defense strategies.

Having the right legal counsel in place to defend their policyholders can make an insurance carrier more profitable in the long run.

There are some cases in which, under all circumstances, the best choice is to pay compensation early on in the case.

Sometimes, a patient’s claim for injuries may be unfounded or overstated. In these situations, the insurance company will need an effective litigation strategy in order to get the best result possible.