Ask a Personal Injury Attorney: What Impact Will the New Medical Malpractice Law Have on Wrongful Death Cases?
Recently, the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (AB 35) was updated by all state legislatures (MICRA). This is a significant win for Californians who sustain severe injuries as a result of medical negligence, as well as for healthcare providers and medical malpractice insurers.
Keep reading to learn more about it what impact it will have for medical malpractice and wrongful death lawsuits. If you believe you have cause for a case, contact Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas at 909-982-0707 for a free legal consultation.
Changes Coming in 2023
The following adjustments to MICRA will take effect on January 1, 2023:
- The former $250,000 cap on non-economic damages for medical malpractice cases will be increased in California
- The non-economic damage cap in wrongful death cases is $500,000. For the following ten years, the ceiling will rise by $50,000 per year until it hits $1 million
- The ceiling will rise to $350,000 if there isn’t a fatality involved in the medical malpractice lawsuit, eventually reaching $750,000 over the next ten years
The modifications to MICRA are intended to remedy significant flaws in the California medical liability system, reduce the price of medical malpractice insurance, and improve the rights of the wounded.
Why Did MICRA Need Modernization?
California has some of the best medical malpractice regulations when compared to other states. There are still certain restrictions and blind spots, but these have already been rectified. Specifically, AB 35 concentrates on safeguarding patients and physicians and reforming long-term medical liability insurance. Theoretically, it ought to significantly lower healthcare expenses overall.
How Will MICRA Modernization Impact Claims for Wrongful Death?
In California, non-economic damages (such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment, etc.) are limited to $250,000 under current medical malpractice statutes for wrongful death. With effect from January 1, 2023, the new law will instantly raise this maximum to $500,000 and raise it to $1 million within 10 years. The contingency fee schedule for medical malpractice attorneys is also changed by AB 35.
One of the most important provisions of the law fundamentally alters the kinds of evidence that can be presented in any hearing on medical negligence. At this time, it is against the law for a healthcare practitioner to make any declarations, writings, or physical movements that may be interpreted as expressing remorse, guilt, etc. over the patient’s suffering or demise.
AB 35 goes a step further by guaranteeing the confidentiality of all such forms of communication and their immunity from subpoenas, disclosure requests, discovery requests, etc. Additionally, they are not admissible as evidence in any kind of hearing, including but not limited to civil lawsuits, administrative hearings, regulatory hearings, and disciplinary board hearings.
Contact a Lawyer Today
Without the assistance of a wrongful death attorney, it might be difficult to comprehend the subtleties of the most current revisions to MICRA. We can assist you in navigating the nuances of the new medical malpractice rules in California if your loved one died as a result of the carelessness of a healthcare practitioner.
Do your research now to get justice and closure before the wrongful death statute of limitations runs out. To talk with a successful wrongful death attorney in Los Angeles call Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas at 909-982-0707 and request a free legal consultation.