Proposition 46 could help victims of medical malpractice

California’s Proposition 46 would raise the medical malpractice cap in the state and introduce patient safety measures.

Ballot measure would increase medical malpractice cap

Proposition 46, which will be voted on by Californians in November, would raise the medical malpractice cap in the state and introduce other measures to improve patient safety, according to KPBS. Proponents of the measure say it is necessary to improve patient safety in California and protect people from dangerous and negligent doctors. The measure has nonetheless stirred up heated debate about whether the initiative will lead to better healthcare.

Medical malpractice cap

Although Proposition 46 introduces three measures, it is the raising of the medical malpractice cap from $250,000 to about $1.1 million that is drawing the most attention. The current cap, which was set in the 1970s, is now considered too low by both medical malpractice attorneys and many victims of medical malpractice. Because of rising expenses associated with medical malpractice cases, it is often difficult for patients to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit given the current cap.

The other two measures, drug tests for hospital physicians and protections against doctors over prescribing potentially addictive drugs, are also on the initiative, according to the Los Angeles Times. Those measures, according to proponents, would help ensure patient safety and would help ease the problem of prescription drug abuse in the state.

Opponents question measure

Opponents of the measure say that by raising the medical malpractice cap, malpractice insurance premiums would increase, therefore driving many doctors out of business. However, supporters say that this criticism is unfounded since insurance premiums are regulated in California and any increase would therefore have to be approved by state regulators.

While opponents of Proposition 46 have run numerous TV ads describing the measure as a money grab, it should be pointed out that the opposition is largely funded by the insurance industry. Indeed, supporters of the initiative say that opposition is largely based on insurance companies not wanting to give patients who have been victims of medical malpractice a fair chance at seeking justice and fair compensation through the legal system.

Medical malpractice lawsuits

While it is still unclear whether Proposition 46 will pass in November, the issue of doctor and hospital negligence is one that many people have to deal with today. Indeed, a recent study estimated that medical mistakes lead to the deaths of 400,000 Americans each year. Such harrowing statistics show just how urgent the problem is for thousands of patients and their families.

Anybody who has been injured due to potential medical malpractice should contact an experienced personal injury attorney as quickly as possible. Such an attorney will review a client's individual case and offer valuable advice about whether legal action can be taken against any potentially negligent or reckless parties.

Keywords: medical malpractice, California