In Virginia there is currently a cap on damages in medical malpractice actions. As of 2011 the cap is $2,000,000.This cap is all inclusive.Regardless of how many people are sued, the maximum amount that can be recovered is the cap. There is no malpractice cap in the District of Columbia.
The logic behind the malpractice cap is to control the cost of malpractice insurance premiums for health care providers.The evidence of whether it in fact has that effect is conflicting. Opponents of the cap maintain the insurance industry is the sole beneficiary of the cap and they do not pass these savings on to their policy holders in the form of lower premiums.Opponents of the cap also point out that the cap works an injustice in those cases where the plaintiff has actual medical care expenses and loss of income that exceeds the cap. They also point out that the effect of the cap is that the insurance companies will never make a settlement offer any where near the cap since they know that by going to trial their exposure is no more than the cap.
The cap has been challenged in Virginia. The Virginia Supreme Court has upheld the cap.The bases for challenge to the cap are that it deprives an injured plaintiff of his right to a jury trial. That is the cap infringes on the jury’s role of setting damages. There is also the due process argument. The cap takes from the injured party the opportunity to be fully compensated for injuries. This right to be fully compensated is a property right.The taking of this right without fair compensation is a violation of due process. These arguments and others have all been rejected by the Virginia Supreme Court.In many other states those arguments have been the basis for overturning the cap on damages.
In Virginia the cap increases each year. The cap applicable is based on the year when ther alleged malpractice occurred.If you have questions about medical malpractice feel free to call or write to Brien Roche. For more information about the medical malpractice cap see the other pages on this site.
For more information about medical malpractice see the pages on Wikipedia.