If you are in a position to file a medical malpractice lawsuit in California, it is important to understand the nature of a damage cap. California is currently one of 31 states that offers damage caps for both non-economic and economic losses in conjunction with medical malpractice cases. However, the caps are different for these damages. According to the state of California, the non-economic damage cap attached to medical malpractice cases is $250,000.
In order to fully grasp a damage cap, you must first understand the difference between economic and non-economic damages. According to the state of California, economic damages are damages that caused the victim to lose actual money or other types of revenue. For instance, missing work would be considered an economic damage. The money required for medical treatment is also economic damage. Where economic damages are concerned, the state of California does not place any sort of cap on potential compensation.
On the other hand, non-economic damages are capped at $250,000. Non-economic damages tend to be less tangible in nature, and include loss of companionship, loss of enjoyment of life, and general pain and suffering. The damage cap on non-economic losses means that you will not get more than $250,000 in a court of law if the negligent entity is found liable.
The final type of damage is punitive damage. Punitive damages are intended to be directly punishing the negligent entity for reckless behavior. There is no cap on punitive damages in California, but in order to receive them it must be proven that the entity was responsible of fraud or malicious actions.