Recently, a jury in Hampton returned a verdict in excess of $25,000,000 in a case in which an individual proved that he was catastrophically injured as a result of a doctor's negligence. In spite of the fact that the evidence of both sides was heard by the jurors before they reached the result they believed was correct, the verdict will automatically be reduced to $2,050,000. This is because Virginia has a limit, or cap, on the amount of a verdict that can be returned in a medical malpractice claim.
This law was put in place because insurance companies complained that they could not afford to pay malpractice claims without increasing the premiums paid by doctors. The doctors and the insurance companies have powerful lobbies at the legislature and were able to convince lawmakers to enact a malpractice limit. Studies and experience have shown that malpractice caps have not always resulted in lower premiums for doctors. This article discusses experience with malpractice caps in various states: Medical Malpractice Damages Cap
Do you believe individuals should receive reduced verdicts in Virginia in order to protect insurance companies? We would like to hear your opinion on this controversial issue impacting injured people in Virginia.