Pain and Suffering Damages Set to Increase for Victims of Medical Malpractice

Since 1975, California has imposed an unfair and arbitrary payment limit of $250,000 for pain and suffering experienced by victims of medical malpractice. The families of wrongful death victims were also limited to a single $250,000 payment for pain and suffering. These limits were held regardless of the number of medical professionals and entities who contributed to the death or whether their loved one was a child or elderly person. All efforts to raise this cap have failed in previous years. However, the California Legislature has finally realized it is time for change.

With this deal, the $250,000 limit on pain and suffering for victims of medical malpractice will increase to $350,000 for cases filed after January 1, 2023, with additional increases raising the limit to $750,000 by 2033.
Additionally, while the previous law limited victims to a single $250,000 payment regardless of the number of healthcare providers who acted negligently—the new law allows for separate payment limits for the negligence of a doctor, the negligence of a hospital, and the negligence of a third, unaffiliated provider. Thus, while the current limit for pain and suffering is $250,000, once this agreement goes into effect, an injured plaintiff could be eligible to receive just over $1,000,000 in 2023, rising to $2.25 million by 2033.

The limit for families whose death was caused by the negligence of a medical professional will double to $500,000 on January 1, 2023, with subsequent increases moving the cap to $1,000,000 over the next ten years. After that, the limit will increase by 2% per year to account for cost of living increases.

Tom Donahue, a founding partner of Donahue & Horrow, has been litigating medical malpractice cases for over 30 years and calls this agreement a “game-changer for plaintiffs.” “For far too long, I have been limited in the amount of money I have been able to obtain for my clients by a law that has not been updated in almost 50 years,” said Mr. Donahue. He further notes that, “With this agreement to raise the limits, I will be able to ensure that our clients are fairly compensated when, through no fault of their own, they are injured by a doctor’s or hospital’s negligence. The increased limit will be particularly helpful to our clients, many of whom are families whose babies were injured at birth.”

Our team at Donahue & Horrow LLP understands the heavy impact a medical malpractice experience has on victims and their families. We will evaluate your case for free and come up with a strategy to hold negligent parties accountable. Throughout the years our client success stories have become a living testament to how we have changed the lives of our clients for the better. Our goal is to take the stress off you and your family, so you can heal. Call our team today for a free consultation at (877) 664-5407.