Does California Have Damage Caps for Personal Injury Cases?

Some personal injury cases in California have caps on certain kinds of damages, but most cases are free from these artificial limitations. If you’re thinking about initiating a personal injury lawsuit or are already involved in one as a plaintiff, this can be good news if your case goes your way.

In personal injury law, “damages” are what a plaintiff alleges they suffered as a result of another party’s negligence or recklessness. Economic damages are compensatory and include medical bills, medication costs, vehicle repair/replacement, and others like these. This is because these damages required the plaintiff to spend their own money (or go into debt), so the goal is to recover what was lost.

There is another category of damages often referred to as “non-economic damages.” These are things for which the court can award compensation, but can’t objectively ascertain a value. In other words, the members of the jury can’t handle something like a plaintiff’s pain and suffering or their loss of enjoyment in life to determine its worth, but they can agree that the plaintiff should be compensated for the experience they’ve endured.

Damage Caps in Medical Malpractice Cases

There is no limit on economic damage recoveries for any type of personal injury case in California. The only damage cap California imposes is on non-economic damages in medical malpractice lawsuits. This limit is $250,000, so the court can’t award more than this amount for pain and suffering or any other non-economic damage.

This cap was established in 1975 after the California Medical Injury compensation Reform Act passed. This law states that the cap is firm for recovery for non-economic damages recovery in medical malpractice cases is firm. No matter how much pain and suffering a patient endures due to a medical practitioner’s negligence, the most they can be awarded is $250,000 for this reason.

Do You Have a Personal Injury Claim?

For the most part, personal injury plaintiffs in California aren’t limited in what they can recover by taking legal action. This means that if you have a personal injury claim, speaking with a personal injury lawyer is the first step you need to take to pursue compensation for damages.

If you want to reach out to an experienced lawyer who can help you fight for the recovery you need, get in touch with the Law Office of Robert J. Kaiser for assistance. We’ve helped many clients achieve agreeable outcomes in court and at the negotiating table.

Learn more about how we can help you by scheduling a free consultation with us. Contact the Law Office of Robert J. Kaiser today to learn more.


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