A well-known Oakland lawyer, personal injury attorney Robert G. Schock, recently sat down to talk with this blogger about changes in California Medical Malpractice Law. If you think it's easy to file a lawsuit that will give you the monetary returns you feel you are entitled to after a medical operation gone bad, think again. There's a real problem with the current law, and only California Governor Jerry Brown and the California Legislature can fix it.
In the video interview you can see here, “Bob,” as he likes to be called, said that thanks to the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act, a law signed by then-and-now California Governor Jerry Brown as an emergency measure in 1975, has placed a cap on the amount of money a plaintiff (the person filing the lawsuit) can collect as damage in a successful lawsuit.
The member of the prestigious California Trial Lawyers Association said “the original act put a cap of $250,000 for pain and suffering. So if you lost a leg and an arm but were still able to work as an accountant, and had a medical plan, and didn't lose any money, the maximum amount of money you could ever get was $250,000.”
Bob says that California trial lawyers have tried to change that, but have not successfully been able to eliminate or raise the $250,000 cap. The reason Mr. Schock brings this up now is that there was a recent appellate court challenge to the now 37-year-old law. A law so old that if the cap were adjusted for inflation it would stand at just over $1 million. The argument was that since the original legislation was created as an emergency action in 1975, and there's no longer an emergency, the MICRA law is not needed. Unfortunately, the legal battle against MICRA was not successful this time, either.
It's now up to the California Legislature to make the change in the law to get rid of the generation-old piece of legislation. “We've tried to make the changes,” Schock said, “We've not done it. We still have the same legislation we had in 1975.”
Right now, the person who has a case doesn't have an option other than stalling out a case until the law is changed. The best action is to call your California Assembly Representative and California Senator in your area, and ask that they work to repeal MICRA, or at least alter it in a way that's fair to long-suffering patients of doctors who've committed acts of medical malpractice, and continue to practice in California.
If you need more legal advice, call Bob Schock, he's here in Oakland, and one of the best personal injury lawyers in the State of California. He can be reached at 888-688-4791.