Sunday, 24 of June of 2018

Medical Malpractice Damage Cap Increases in Virginia Over Governor’s Initial Veto

What’s even more outrageous is if a jury awards a victim more than $2 million in non-economic damages, the award must be reduced to comply with the damage cap. So, even if a person has future medical bills and lost wages way over the limit , they only get the cap no matter how deserving they are and no matter what the jury says is fair.

By John Cooper, Medical Negligence Lawyer

In a surprising turn of events, the Virginia General Assembly overrode the governor’s veto on a medical malpractice damage cap increase bill. HB1459 mandates a phased-in increase the maximum award from $2 million to $3 million by 2031. The cap rises by $50,000 per year beginning this July.

Seven Republican senators crossed party lines and voted with Democrats to undo Gov. Bob McDonnell’s rejection of the legislation. They deserve praise for accepting a compromise that was worked out over time between the hospitals, doctors, and medical folks on one side and the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association plaintiff’s bar on the other.

In an ideal world, there would be no cap on medical negligence damages. The limits punish helpless victims and benefit insurance companies. What’s even more outrageous is if a jury awards a victim more than $2 million in non-economic damages, the award must be reduced to comply with the damage cap. So, even if a person has future medical bills and lost wages way over the limit , they only get the cap no matter how deserving they are and no matter what the jury says is fair. That makes no sense considering the jury system is the bedrock of our society and should be the final arbiter of what a victim receives in a medical malpractice case.

But we’re faced with the reality of damage caps in Virginia. Fortunately, the medical malpractice damages bill that passed is a step in the right direction.

PA

About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper Lewis & Appleton is a law firm whose attorneys focus on injury and accident law, and we have experience handling medical malpractice cases involving hospital and doctor mistakes, nursing home abuse and neglect. Check out our case results to see for yourself. Though not every case meets our criteria, we offer free, initial consultations. Give us a call at (800) 752-0042. If you can’t get through due to high call volume, leave a message and we will return your call promptly. Also be sure to check out our free special report Top 10 Tips From a Medical Malpractice Insider. Our primary office is in Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA), but we also have offices in Hampton, VA, and Elizabeth City, North Carolina (NC).  Our lawyers hold licenses in NC, SC, WV, KY, FL and DC. We also host an extensive injury law video library on Youtube . Furthermore, our lawyers proudly edit the Virginia Beach Injuryboard and Norfolk Injuryboard as pro bono public information services.