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Why California Proposition 46 Should Pass


This upcoming election day, the state of California is voting on a landmark issue that could cause states across the country to follow suit. Proposition 46 is a hot-topic issue that, if passed, would allow the cap on noneconomic damages from medical malpractice lawsuits to raise from $250,000 to $1 million. The attorneys at The Law Offices of Dr. Michael M. Wilson M.D., J.D. & Associates support the passage of California Proposition 46 since it will allow victims of medical malpractice to receive justice and compensation for their injuries.

What should you know about Proposition 46?

The Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act played a large role in the current economic cap. It was signed after doctors complained about the high financial awards of medical malpractice lawsuits. Since 1975, the award for pain and suffering in medical malpractice cases has been capped at $250,000, without accounting for inflation. If the cap reflected inflation, it would currently be set at $1.1 million. While there is no cap on the amount of money that can be obtained for lost wages or medical bills, pain and suffering faces restrictions.

In addition to raising the cap for damages, Proposition 46 will:

  • Require drug and alcohol testing of doctors
  • Reporting of drug and alcohol tests to the California Medical Board
  • Require the suspension of doctors pending investigation for positive tests
  • Determine disciplinary actions for those impaired while on duty
  • Mandate that any health care practitioner report instances of doctor impairment
  • Ensure that health care practitioners consult the drug history database before prescribing certain controlled substances

This proposition is the first law that would mandate the required drug testing of doctors. With medical negligence and instances of doctors abusing controlled substances are high, the pain and suffering awards are oftentimes too low for the damages that a patient has suffered.

With medical malpractice the third leading cause of death in the United States following only heart disease and cancer, it is important to hold those accountable for not exercising the standard of care to their patients that they should. Part of this accountability is the pain and suffering that is felt by those that have had their lives irrevocably altered by the actions of negligent doctors.

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