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Damage Caps in California Personal Injury Claims

Posted by Dan Kann | Sep 18, 2021 | 0 Comments

You can claim lawful damages for both economic and non-economic losses in a personal injury lawsuit. Occasionally, the value of non-economic damages in a California personal injury case has a maximum amount limit or a damage cap.   

A damage cap is a legally stipulated maximum amount that defines the highest amount of damages that the court can award to a plaintiff in certain types of cases. The damage cap, however, is only on non-economic damages.

Who Assesses the Victim's Needs, And How?

There is no firmly established answer that specifies or defines the levels of need, as they generally vary for different people in different situations. The most basic needs for the victim of an accident are the current and future medical treatment bills, and any possible loss of earnings because of their injuries. 

Court judgments that award damages running into hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars might sound astonishing. However, if you look at non-economic damages based on age, the magnitude of injuries, and the victim's financial dependents; the calculations could run into significantly high figures.   

The best way to ascertain the exact needs of the victim that can help them to continue living at the level of the financial lifestyle they enjoyed before their injuries, is to call in the financial and medical experts. A California personal injury attorney with access to experienced accountants and medical professionals can help put a price tag on your future needs and expenses.

What Are Compensatory Damages?

Compensatory damages are the damages awarded to the plaintiff to reestablish their financial lifestyle to how it was before the injuries. Compensatory damages aim to grant sufficient post-injury monetary relief to the plaintiff that can place them in a similar financial condition as prior to their accident.

Compensatory damages mainly constitute compensation for:

Economic Damages or Actual Expenses

  • Medical expenses
  • Therapies
  • Property repair or replacement
  • Any other tangible and financially measurable expense

Non-Economic Damages or Intangible Costs

  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Damage to the reputation
  • Other intangible damages

What Are Punitive Damages?

All other damages apart from the compensatory damage award constitute punitive damages. If the court decides that the defendant's actions are malicious and disgraceful to a large extent, it may punish the defendant by forcing them to shell out a large amount as punitive damages.

California Damage Caps

Only medical malpractice cases have caps on compensatory damages among all California personal injury lawsuits. The damage cap on non-economic damages, pain, and suffering in California medical malpractice lawsuits is $250,000. The California Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA), passed in 1975, established this cap notwithstanding the number of defendants or the grievousness of the injuries.

Damage Caps in California for Convicted Criminals

Convicted felons in California cannot expect to legally recover damages for injuries from any untoward incident or wrongdoing on someone else's part during the act of committing a felony or crime.

Look for a Competent California Personal Injury Attorney

In California, if your personal injury attorney can prove the defendant's negligence or wrongdoing in a court of law, you can lawfully recover full economic and non-economic damages.

Attorneys at the Kann California Law Group will evaluate the facts of your case and plan a strategy that will obtain the best possible outcome for you. Contact us today to schedule a free and confidential consultation. Fill out our online contact form or call us at 888-744-7730.

About the Author

Dan Kann

Daniel E. Kann has devoted his entire legal career exclusively to defending individuals facing criminal prosecution in Southern California. Dan fights criminal cases throughout Los Angeles, Ventura, Orange, Kern, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.


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