Are There Damage Caps In California Personal Injury Cases?
December 2, 2020
If you or a loved one sustain an injury caused by the careless or negligent actions of another individual, business, or entity, you may be entitled to various types of compensation for your injuries and losses. In some cases, this compensation comes from a settlement with insurance carriers. In other cases, these matters are resolved through personal injury lawsuits. It is important to understand whether or not there are any limitations in place on the amount of compensation that can be awarded to injury victims in these cases.
What are the Limitations on Personal Injury Damages?
In general, personal injury victims are awarded both economic and non-economic damages after sustaining an injury caused by another individual, business, or entity. Economic damages refer to compensation awarded to cover things like medical bills, lost wages, general out-of-pocket expenses, and other calculable aspects of an injury.
Non-economic damages are a bit harder to calculate, and these refer to compensation awarded for an injury victim’s pain and suffering damages, emotional and psychological damages, loss of quality of life, loss of enjoyment of life, and more.
Some states place a damage cap on the amount of money that can be awarded in a personal injury case. In general, these caps are only placed on non-economic damages awarded in a personal injury settlement. However, California generally does not have any damage caps on economic or non-economic damages in a personal injury lawsuit. However, there is an exception when it comes to medical malpractice damages.
What are the Limitations for Medical Malpractice Cases?
California does not place a damage cap on the amount of economic damages awarded in a medical malpractice case. For example, there will be no limitation on the amount that can be paid for medical bills, lost wages, and out-of-pocket expenses that a victim incurs as a result of a medical mistake.
However, California does place a $250,000 cap on the total amount of pain and suffering and other non-economic damages that can be awarded to a medical malpractice victim. This cap is the only personal injury limitation that applies in California.
Work with an Attorney to Ensure Your Case is Handled Properly
If you or somebody you care about has sustained an injury caused by the careless or negligent actions of another individual or entity, you need to seek assistance from an attorney as soon as possible. A California personal injury lawyer can use their resources and legal expertise to conduct a full investigation into the incident. They will obtain the evidence necessary to prove liability and handle all communications and negotiations with other parties involved in your case.
An attorney will be able to use their resources to hire medical and economic experts to properly calculate your total losses in order to ensure that you are treated fairly by insurance carriers and legal teams. If necessary, an attorney will be ready to take your case to trial to ensure you receive maximum compensation.
It is also important to keep in mind that there is generally a two-year statute of limitations in place for these cases. This means that personal injury victims have a two-year window with which to file a lawsuit against the alleged negligent party in order to recover the conversation they need.